The occasional, often ill-considered thoughts of a Roman Catholic permanent deacon who is ever grateful to God for his existence. Despite the strangeness we encounter in this life, all the suffering we witness and endure, being is good, so good I am sometimes unable to contain my joy. Deo gratias!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving at the Soup Kitchen

We had a bit of a surprise today at the Wildwood Soup Kitchen. On Thanksgiving Day, or for that matter on most holidays, we usually serve fewer meals than on an average day. This, of course, is understandable. Many of our regular guests will spend the holiday with family or will have been invited to dine with friends or neighborhood groups. But this year we experienced almost no decrease at all, and so we had a very busy time of it. Fortunately, we also had a bumper crop of volunteers.

Because so many folks asked to help this Thanksgiving, Diane and I were able to give many of our regular Thursday volunteers the day off to spend with their families. We actually ended up with more than 25 wonderful helpers who spent the day assisting Diane with the cooking, greeting guests, taking orders, serving meals and desserts, pouring drinks, and most importantly, cleaning up at the end of the day. We were all extremely busy from the time we arrived at 6:45 a.m. until we turned out the lights and locked the doors at 2:00 p.m. As I recall the final meal count for the day was approximately 270 meals. That's a lot of turkey!

In addition to turkey, the meal consisted of all the usual tasty Thanksgiving fare. (See the menu at left.) But we couldn't have done it without the good people who helped us in advance of the day. For example, we had a whole corps of cooks who roasted and carved the turkeys ahead of time. Others made cornbread for Diane's special Southern cornbread dressing. And several people baked extra desserts and dropped them off early this morning. And then there were the people who just stopped by and handed us a generous donation, something we're always in need of. We receive no money from the government -- federal, state or local -- and so must rely completely on donations from individuals, businesses, churches, and neighborhood and civic organizations. We are truly blessed to have so many generous donors who always come through for us.

We also had a visit from the local media, including The Villages TV station, WVLG. So...I expect the story will appear on tomorrow's local news show. I'll try to remember to record it so I can post it online for all to see.

All in all, a wonderful day to serve God's people.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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