Meet The Founder
Henry Lee Bell, Sr.
It started with his dream...
Henry Lee Bell Sr. started the United Concerned Citizens Organization in 2002. His dream was to feed the needy and shut-in on Thanksgiving Day. Henry Lee came from a large family of twenty-one children. He was a victim of much hardship, however, he recalled many times that his family's Thanksgiving table was blessed and bountiful with various sorts of foods and deserts. Those memories would leave a legacy for generations to come. Henry, after seeing George Foreman feeding the needy on Thanksgiving Day decided that this was a legacy that he would also want to leave behind. So he set out to make this idea a reality in Lebanon, Kentucky. This dream created the first Thanksgiving Outreach.
Henry gathered family and friends to create a board of directors for his event. This board is still going, although it has slightly changed, and continues to carry out his dream since his passing in 2008. The first Thanksgiving Outreach was scary for Henry and his board president, John Bell. Although they were terrified, they continued to do what they had set out to do. Now, because of their perseverance, the program has been fulfilling its purpose for 18 years and counting.
With the Help
of the Community
Henry Lee was well connected and reached out to some friends of his to help fulfill his dream. The community donated, volunteered, and provided supplies. To this day, UCCO runs on the fuel of the community. Without them, we wouldn't have been able to keep Henry's dream alive or help feed 1000s of people on Thanksgiving day.
The Biggest Lesson
The biggest lesson that everyone can take from Henry's story is that it doesn't matter who you are, where you started from, or where you're at now. Your dreams can become a reality if you believe in them enough to make them so. UCCO's mission is now not only to feed the needy and shut-in, but to help people become the person they want to be, grow the love in our community, and support the people of our community's hopes and dreams.