Thanksgiving dinner serves over a thousand in Region 8

By Brandi Hodges - bio | email

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - While you may be enjoying time with family, there are those who have no where to go.  Volunteers prepared the food earlier in the week and had it all ready to be brought out in a well tested system of service.

This meal is put on for people in the community solely by volunteers.

"They're putting off their thanksgiving dinner a little bit so they can help down here," said volunteer Bruce Barnes.

"When we suggested it we didn't even have to convince them," said Alyssa Turley.

For many of the families this time together is also an educational experience.

"We just really wanted the kids to know what it was like to help other people," said Turley.

Something you're never too old to learn.

"It's exciting that they learn this when they're young that they learn that to give to others and not to be selfish," said Barnes.

But a lesson that folks seem to know all to well with the number of people who unselfishly have given up half of their day.

"We're not thinking only of ourselves.  We're not a 'me' generation anymore we're trying to share what we have with people in our community," said Barnes.

There are always hundreds who show up eat the turkey with all the trimmings.

"This may be the only meal they get today.  This may be the only meal they get for two or three days," said Barnes.

Seeing the faces, not knowing their stories, makes the volunteers proud they can help but wish they could do more.

"It's too bad we can't have a Thanksgiving meal everyday for these people that are less fortunate," said Barnes.

A wish echoed by others.

"Anytime that you're meeting the needs of people, that's a great Thanksgiving," said Melody Robinson.

1,124 meals were served at the Thanksgiving feast.  On Wednesday night there were 125 people signed up to volunteer, by the end of the day on Thursday there were 407 volunteers.

©2009 KAIT 
 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.