On November 24, 2016 a group of 15 Food For Friends volunteers gathered at HELPS ministry in St. Charles to serve a Thanksgiving dinner for the HELPS community. The volunteers were eager to serve meals, interact with the guests and make a difference in their lives for this Thanksgiving dinner.
The two organizations involved in this event, Food for Friends and HELPS, always work well together. Combined, we served over 100 meals to our ‘Friends’, many of who are homeless in the St. Charles and Elgin areas.
During the event, we asked those who were interested to help us tell the story of the dinner through their own words. Three people submitted their stories to us. Below find those three stories…
#1: “Thanksgiving memories… I’ll always remember the warmth of the holidays – especially our family Thanksgivings. What a wonderful time to gather with family, friends, and loved ones that you don’t see all year long – then when you do, it’s like you were never apart. The smells of good foods – freshness and the warmth. To sit back and relax and enjoy the music. The conversations around our family table – so excited, an animated, serious, sad, fun, friendly – yet, whatever it is, for sure there’s a lot of it. The room is filled with people – food – with the sounds of family! I love the intimacy, the closeness. See, there’s really nothing like it, family – together – sharing, enjoying! And oh – too much food – my belly hurts – yet there’s still room for dessert! I love the leftovers too – that’s a special gift. – You see this could be “Thanksgiving” anywhere it’s really about togetherness. For the last several years – that’s been my Thanksgiving memory – the difference is it’s “Thanksgiving” by Food for Friends at the H.E.L.P.S. ministry – with family 85-100 of my closest friend – it’s great. There’s no place like home.”
#2: “This Thanksgiving was great! I stood in one corner of the gym and just took in the picture of peace. All races, creeds, poor and rich and homeless. Eating, laughing, talking and they were not strangers any more. I think this is just how Yahweh wants it every day. Everybody was full and happy. We gave them desserts and treats to take home. The happiness was just amazing! Also, the volunteers, they came from all over just to serve food and help out. It was a great time.”
#3: “All the other years people would ask for something – people seemed to be needy. This year, there was more gratefulness above all the other years. One large family, lots of full bellies and a wonderful family – a mom who was smiling big and three boys all smiling – wonderful to see. Looked like a grateful family, all getting along and peaceful. Wow – Thank You Elohim. I pray that Elohim would bless this particular family.”
As you can see by these very personal comments and observations, we are making a difference, one meal at a time.
To see some pictures from the event, please check out the HELPS Thanksgiving picture album on our Facebook page.