Lighthouse Mission holds Thanksgiving dinner for those in need
Large groups waited patiently outside the Assumption Church’s gym Friday afternoon preparing to enjoy their versions of a home-cooked meal provided by volunteers at the Lighthouse Mission.
It was the day after Thanksgiving, and for the annual meal event over 100 volunteers were at the gym to help serve those who came, providing the venue with restaurant-style seating.
Katie Anderson, volunteer coordinator at the Lighthouse Mission, said the holidays can be rough for homeless individuals and the mission’s residing guests.
While the mission serves meals on a daily basis at its drop-in center, Anderson said that they wanted to have the day after Thanksgiving and Christmas meals to be special.
Held in the gym a mile from the drop-in center, those who came were seated and tended to by volunteers in restaurant-style.
“For me it’s more of wanting to provide a safe place for them to be waited on and have it feel nice, because often times there isn’t that,” she said. “This is a way for them to have a family meal in a sense,” she said.
Anderson said that most of the food is cooked by a chef and a group of volunteers that have been providing help annually.
Other food, like pies, get donated to the mission, she said.
Anderson said the large turnout of people this year was probably due to it being the first year the mission used a shuttle to transport people staying at the mission to the gym.
“It’s been really nice, I like talking to all of the people and getting to know them and hearing their stories,” said Gabriella Recio, a volunteer.
Vicki Werby, attended the event as a second-year volunteer and enjoyed being there to help.
“It’s just about giving back and trying to help people … there’s so much of the homelessness it’s just unfortunate,” she said.
Anderson said she is thankful she gets to coordinate for events like this one and that they can bless their guests and volunteers this way.