Salvation Army prepares for Thanksgiving meal
Fewer volunteers pitched in for meal preparations on Wednesday for The Salvation Army in Tyler's Thanksgiving event this year, but not for a lack of people willing to help.
"We had to limit the number of volunteers this year," said Chantel Millin, community and corporate relations co--o-rdinator. "In the past there were more volunteers than clients and there were just too many. It's a good problem to have."
Two groups did the majority of the prep work on Wednesday, Living the Word Ministry and Omega Ministries, as well as a few individuals. Ms. Millin estimated about 30 volunteers chopped vegetables, baked pies and mixed cornbread on Wednesday as part of the preparations for The Salvation Army in Tyler's Thanksgiving meal.
"We wanted to be willing to serve, and we wanted to do something to help others," Larry Johnigan, pastor of Living the Word Ministry, said. "We like to be in the community serving and it feels good to do it. ... We're thankful for all that's been provided to us and to serve and help. Christ didn't come to be served but to serve, so we're trying to be like Christ."
Today there will be hundreds of volunteers to help with more preparation and serving the meal.
More than 1,000 are expected this year, Ms. Millin said, up from last year's 800. The meal comes at a time when the organization was forced to begin its Christmas fundraising campaign early because of low donations for the time of year.
Gary Smith, food service manager for the organization, ordered 75 turkeys, 500 pounds of sweet potatoes, 20 gallons of gravy, 65 gallons of green beans, 100 pounds of dressing, 80 pounds of fruit salad and 25 pounds of cranberry sauce.
The Salvation Army will serve the Thanksgiving meal from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday at the Center of Hope, 633 N. Broadway Ave., Tyler.