In our nation, Thanksgiving originated as a harvest festival, a time of gratitude, and an opportunity to share nature’s bounty with family and friends. On this day, no one went hungry. So much has changed since that first Thanksgiving that our country would now be unrecognizable to those early settlers.
One thing that hasn’t changed is the need to share God’s blessings with the less fortunate. On this special holiday, as we gather around tables filled with turkey and dressing, our favorite casseroles, and mouth-watering desserts, most of us will begin the meal with a blessing. In that prayer, we hope you will remember the poor and homeless men, women, and children who will be coming to St. Vincent de Paul for their Thanksgiving meal.
On November 22nd, our volunteers will serve turkey with all the trimmings to hundreds of people who, unfortunately, have little to celebrate. Many of them are living in homes where people have to skip meals or eat less to make ends meet. Some of them have no homes. But on this day, they will all have a warm place to go and plenty to eat.
This year, our volunteers will be serving up a Thanksgiving meal at our Dining Room and will continue the Holiday Helpers’ tradition at the Raising Cane’s River Center. We will come together to ensure everyone in our community has a place to turn to on Thanksgiving Day, as well as everyday of the year. Sometimes, we are overwhelmed by the number of people who turn to St. Vincent de Paul for the nourishment they need. But these people are not numbers – they are real people in desperate need. We see their faces; we hear their stories. They are struggling to survive and must rely on the kindness of others to help them through this difficult time in their lives.
During the upcoming holiday season, there are many people who are wondering where their next meal is coming from. St. Vincent de Paul is the only community kitchen that is open every day of the year, providing a hot lunch and a brown bag supper daily. This year, we will serve over 270,000 meals. The lines at our dining room are long, and we can only meet the need with the help of generous people like you. The meals prepared at St. Vincent de Paul are served by our volunteers with love and compassion. Your support is needed to make these meals possible, and to put smiles on beautiful faces.