As families gather to celebrate and enjoy a Thanksgiving meal, others are heading out to give the blessing to those less fortunate. Churches and shelters are already prepping and the backbone to make it all happen are volunteers.
“It's one of those things we discovered a long time ago that the food seems to expand with the numbers of people we have.” This will be Brenda Moran's 12th year coordinating the meal at St. Patrick’s Church in Council Bluffs. She says more than 200 volunteers will help serve 700 people a Thanksgiving meal.
In all, 40 birds were cooked this year, but help also comes from outside the church. “The members of Immanuel Lutheran here in town, they do all the green bean casseroles at home and bring them in, we have a person up in St. Albert's school that does all the potatoes."
Sacks will be filled for home deliveries with the help of 15-year-old Austin Tietsort and his friend Shengbo Wong, who flew in from Albany, New York, to help since they don’t have school. "No, first day off, I do it every year."
“When I was in high school I did this stuff here, I just wanted to do it again,” said Wong.
Don't forget about the pie, 124 baked and ready to be sliced. “People working together for the same result, that is to help people that are less fortunate than us,” said volunteer Margaret Morse.
Volunteers were preparing food for Thursday’s meal at St. Peter Catholic Church at 28th and Leavenworth. Across the city at the Siena/Francis House, they expect more volunteers on Thursday. “Volunteers play a big role in keeping this going."
Kitchen manager BB Lalande expects 36 volunteers on Thursday, but they aren't cutting it off there. “Heck no, the more the merrier.” Anyone wishing to volunteer can head out to the Siena/Francis House Thursday unannounced.