On Wednesday, November 22, 2017 one hundred Food For Friends volunteers carved out a portion of their day to serve a warm, delicious fully trimmed Thanksgiving Dinner to well over 700 of our “Friends” at the Pacific Garden Mission at 1458 S. Canal Street, Chicago, IL.
Our “Friends” at Pacific Garden Mission represent homeless and under-resourced men, women and children who came to the annual dinner hungry and in need of a meal. These are people who are in search of a change in their life and many of them experience that change through the wonder of the Pacific Garden Mission.
As they entered the dining hall, various Food For Friends volunteers greeted them with wishes of Happy Thanksgiving. They smiled back and wished us all a Happy Thanksgiving as well.
As they sat down, the Food For Friends volunteers kicked it up into a high gear of serving activities. We provided a hot Thanksgiving meal of Turkey, dressing, stuffing, gravy, mixed veggies, sweet potatoes prepared with love from Dan Veles from Lee and Eddy’s Catering. Hard working crews of volunteers served the guests hot coffee, cold kool-aid and water. Another crew of volunteers cut up and served over 120 pies donated by Bakers Square including apple, blueberry, peach, cherry and of course pumpkin. Ice Cream was donated and served by Culvers restaurants out of Franklin Park. We owe so many thanks to our partners for these donations of food and services.
The guests were all very thankful! Throughout the serving event there were spontaneous laughter and clapping from the guests as they enjoyed their meals. As they left, there were more smiles and “Happy Thanksgivings” by all. Many of them could be heard commenting on how great the food and volunteers were.
We were very honored to continue the Food For Friends tradition of 23 years serving Thanksgiving Eve meal in Chicago to this group at the Pacific Garden Mission. This was our annual opportunity to ‘Pay it Forward’ and help those in need on the near south side of Chicago. We did our part to CHANGE THINGS with our KINDNESS and INSPIRE CHANGE in others who see the good we are doing.
A special thanks to all those who served with us at Pacific Garden Mission or our other holiday serving events. For many of you this has become a long-standing tradition to “Pay it Forward” and give back to our community. This is our chance to be the hands and feet of Jesus and celebrate all the blessings in our lives together with a community of people in our city of Chicago. We trust you left the serving event with a warm feeling inside you, knowing that you had an impact on the lives of others.
For more pictures of the event, please head over to our 2017 Pacific Garden Mission photo album on our Facebook page.
NOTE: If any of you who volunteered took pictures that you would like us to share on our Facebook page, please send these to firstname.lastname@example.org.