Thanksgiving Day Meals Celebrates 22 Years of Serving

Former members of our congregation, Clarence and Bonnie Edwards started the Thanksgiving Day Community Meal in 1991. At first the event was completely run by volunteer coordinators, but it is now under the leadership of the Board of Outreach. The earlier Thanksgiving meals were served buffet style, but now our guests are seated and are served their meals by our volunteers.

Last year we served a total of 455 meals. 130 of those meals were delivered to those unable to attend. Our volunteers cooked and carved 36, 15- pound turkeys, made or bought 72 pumpkin pies and peeled around 200 pounds of potatoes. Volunteers also contributed 2 cases of bread , 10 pounds of onions and 7 bags of celery for stuffing, 36 10- pound cans of corn and green beans, 2 cases of cranberry sauce, 16 gallons of milk, a case of butter, coffee, lemonade, whipped topping and other items for the meal. Claussen’s Bakery has also generously donated very large amounts of various bread items for the meal. 

Many people are busy before Thanksgiving preparing for the event. The Board of Outreach makes lots of lists of things to do and divides up responsibilities among its members. Our office manager, Jill, and office volunteers take calls for homebound deliveries. The home delivery coordinator plans out the delivery routes. All paper goods and supplies left over from the previous year are inventoried and lists are made for the purchase of items needed for this year. Letters of Invitation are sent out to community organizations. Volunteers come in early to clean the kitchen and clean out the refrigerators. The list goes on.

Wednesday evening a group of about 40 volunteers will carve turkeys, peel potatoes, prepare stuffing, set up the dining room, set and decorate tables, make and distribute “turkey tracks” and posters to guide our guests to the dining room and enjoy a companionable meal of pizza as preparations take place.

Thursday about 100 volunteers gather throughout the day to finish meal prep, greet and seat guests, serve the meals, clear tables, wash dishes, prepare meals for home delivery and deliver the meals to the homebound. About  40 people volunteer to deliver the meals.

The congregation has been very generous over the years in volunteering their time, giving contributions of food and making monetary donations. In addition to our church members participating in this event, many people from the community call us to volunteer. Several student organizations from the UW volunteer every year to help out on Thursday.

The Board of Outreach would like to thank everyone for their help in making this a truly rewarding event. We have so many things to be thankful for on Thanksgiving Day.

~ Kathy Wiggins, Board of Outreach


Posted on November 13, 2013 at 2:29 pm in Featured Content.

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