November 23, 2012 11:14:01 AM
Sarah Fowler - [email protected]
For many, Thanksgiving is a time of gathering with family and friends to give thanks for the year's blessings. For some people however, especially senior citizens, Thanksgiving is just another day that they spend alone.
A local group of women is trying to change that. More than 800 meals were delivered to senior citizens Thursday as part of the 17th annual Thanksgiving dinner delivery program for seniors and disabled citizens.
Volunteers ranging in age from teenagers to fellow senior citizens showed up at Stokes Beard Elementary School on Thanksgiving morning to package carry-out boxes filled with Thanksgiving staples such as turkey, dressing and cranberry sauce.
Annette Savors has been a part of the volunteer group since they started the event in 1994. Savors is in awe of how the event has grown when she reflects on that first Thanksgiving meal service, which began in a kitchen with a handful of women.
"When I started, it was something to do for my grandmother's friends," she said. "It's just grown every years since then. It gets bigger and bigger every year."
Fellow volunteer Willie Mae Phinisey has been volunteering for the past five years.
Phinisey said she helps out in an effort to serve her community.
"I'm here to assist the community and help out any way we can," Phinisey said.
First-time volunteers Beth and Duff Jeffers said they wanted to volunteer in hopes of giving back.
"We wanted to do something in the community for someone else," Beth Jeffers said.
Her husband added that since their children are grown, volunteering to serve senior citizens seemed like a perfect opportunity.
"We're getting a little older and our kids are grown so we don't automatically come together," he said. "We just wanted to help out."
Most of the volunteers admitted that they had other Thanksgiving plans that day but volunteering in their community was important.
Ying Woo delivered meals to the senior citizens last year and came back to help volunteer again.
"There are more people in need than me," he said. "I feel it's the right thing to do."
Sarah Fowler covered crime, education and community related events for The Dispatch.