100 Food For Friends volunteers came together, at the Pacific Garden Mission in Chicago on November 21, 2018 and served a Thanksgiving dinner complete with all the trimmings to over 800 homeless children, women and children in Chicago.
Volunteers started showing up around 3:30pm and began setting tables right away. Around 4:30pm, Dan Herzog called the group together and fired us all up by describing the mission of Food For Friends and reminding all the volunteers why we do what we do. We all prayed that the meal would go well, that our guests would leave with not only warm food in their stomachs, but a warm heart given to them by all the volunteers.
Around 5pm, hundreds of homeless and under-resourced men, women and children filed into the room. Volunteers greeted them at the door with “Happy Thanksgiving!” and “Welcome!”. With that, all the volunteer teams kicked into action. The coffee crew served hot coffee and sugar packets. Another team served ice cold kool-aid. There were two separate food serving lines that brought plates full of turkey, dressing, stuffing, gravy, mixed veggies, sweet potatoes and bread to our guests. As the main meal serving wound down, the dessert crew was ready to serve pies and ice cream to our guests.
Watching it all happen, you just knew this was a process that our Food For Friends leaders had orchestrated for many years. It was a well-oiled machine. By 6pm over 800 guests had been served.
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.
A serving event like this requires we have a group of partners who are willing to help us out. Thanks to the following organizations for their donation of food and time.
- Lee n’ Eddies
- Bakers Square
- Columbus Vegetable Oils
- Lallemand American Yeast
For many more pictures from this event, please see the album on our Facebook page