We started our Thanksgiving day at a local ministry to the poor. It's one we've been personally involved with for over 20 years, so we know first hand where donations go, how things are done, and the integrity of the couple who run the ministry. They've always given out turkeys & food boxes the week of Thanksgiving, but a few years ago decided to provide a hot meal with all the trimmings in addition to food box.
My husband helps every year. Sometimes I do & sometimes I stay home and cook. This year we went together. I was assigned the happy job of taking pictures of the event. (It's at this point I'll confess something - I can't stand kitchen commotion on a large scale; i.e. lots of people buzzing around, the mess of food prep and especially cleanup. It just really makes me nervous.)
So here's just a couple pictures from the event. I try very hard to not exploit people for photo ops on occasions like this, where people have come for help. I'm very discreet, always ask if I can take a picture of their children, or take the photos from the back and I never post their faces in the blog or social media.
The room was warm & cozy. Tables were set and candles lit. A local pianist volunteered his time, as he has every year, to play background music.
The volunteers gathered in a circle to start the day with prayer. It's amazing how many people came to serve!
People started lining up at 9:30 a.m. Lunch was to be from 11 - 1.
It was moving to see people sit at a candlelit table, where servers came and took their order special, rather than have to trudge thru a cafeteria style line and take what was plopped on their plate. They sat quietly, politely, looking peaceful and relaxed in a safe place, with family, friends, or friends from the street. Some had small children. The little ones don't know any better. They were well behaved, smiling, posing for my camera and chowing down.
About 270 traditional Thanksgiving meals were served, complete with pie and whipped cream.
As people left, they thanked the servers and expressed gratitude to the ministers who host this dinner every year. They didn't just leave with full tummys either. On their way out, they received a box of food, a whole ham, 5 lbs. of potatoes and a huge bag of apples to take home.
I am thankful to have been part of this day, to witness the goodness of others, to see people experience even an hour of contentment.
When we got home, we had so much fun making our holiday dinner together, talking, watching tv and texting with family out of town. It really has been a day of giving thanks.