Volunteers help the Salvation Army prepare Thanksgiving lunch

More than three thousand will be fed on Thanksgiving Day

TUPELO, Miss. (WCBI) – At one table, members of the Hopkins family were cutting pieces of cherry pie, at another Tupelo High School students were putting individual desserts into boxes, and at another, Leigh Ann Lesley, of Romie’s was helping organize the room, while also preparing sweet treats for the Thanksgiving lunch.

Lesley, and her friend, Kashauna Pittman, a teacher at Milam, began helping with desserts for the community-wide feeding nine years ago.

“I’ve heard her say a million times, it’s good to be the hands and feet, and have a servant’s heart,” Pittman said.

“I just love to see the community come out, to help each other, support each other,” Lesley said.

While volunteers were hard at work in the dessert room, members of the Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary were decorating tables for the Thanksgiving Day meal in the community center.

Captain Rob Dolby says it takes about 300 volunteers to feed 3,000 people, either at the community center dine-in style, drive-through pickup, or delivery.

“We take to-go meals and actually deliver to their house for Thanksgiving.  We want to make sure there’s not a senior, or someone who has to be alone without a meal, a smile, and a prayer for Thanksgiving,” Dolby said.

Volunteers say they are thankful for the opportunity to give back.

“It’s important to bring my kids here to do community service, especially on a holiday when they want to sit around and watch TV for hours, they need to be aware there are people in our community who need our help,” said Lauren McElwain.

“It’s nice to help others, they might not be as blessed, or not be in a good position to have anything,” said Hope Austin.

“I just think we all should help our community, not everyone is as fortunate as us,” said Summer Wilson.

“We recognize that God has blessed us so much and we want to share His love and teach our children to share His love and have a heart for service,” said Jennifer Hopkins.

While the Salvation Army will feed more than three thousand people on Thanksgiving Day, they couldn’t do it without a team of volunteers of all ages, willing to step up and serve, in the true spirit of Thanksgiving.

The dine-in meal starts at 10:30 at the Carnation Street Community Center.  Anyone wanting to help deliver meals can show up at 10 a.m.

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