Note: Thanks to Food For Friends volunteer Rich LeBron (Rich@thefranchiseconsultingcompany.com) who coordinated our serving volunteers and provided content for the following article:
Thanksgiving would not be the same if you were not able to share the experience with over 1000 fellow community members.
Every year various partners across the Elgin area and a bunch of community volunteers come together to offer a free Thanksgiving Dinner to anyone in the Elgin area. The event hopes to serve anyone in the community that may need a little help, food and love around this time of the year. This year, the Thanksgiving dinner was held 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Nov. 23 in the basement of First United Methodist Church, 216 E. Highland Ave., Elgin.
The event is organized by Jeff Turner of In the Neighborhood Deli. Volunteers from throughout the community gather to cook and serve a hot turkey dinner with all the fixings to over 1000 of our neighbors.
Food For Friends was a significant partner for this event, donating over 1,000 pounds of turkey. The staff at the Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin cooked and carved the meat. Other partners included the Salvation Army of Elgin, In the Neighborhood Deli and the First United Methodist Church.
An event this big requires many serving volunteers. There were 40 volunteers from Food For Friends. There were also volunteer groups from local churches, high school girls sports teams. Volunteers at First United Methodist Church served the main dish along with plenty of trimmings and several dessert options.
This was truly a community event and is designed that way in an effort to bring everyone together. Kids were treated to a table filled with fun games, crafts and smiling faces. Both the guests and volunteers all commented how this was the highlight of their holiday and were filled with a thankful heart.
Jeff Turner the founder of the event announced his vision to eventually hold up to 12 events throughout the year to help meet the needs of those in the community. He already has community dinners around Christmas and Valentine’s Day and is looking to start up a summertime event, likely a cookout at a park in the June timeframe.
Looking for more pictures from this event? We have over 100 pictures from this Thanksgiving Dinner over on our Facebook album