Amarillo Salvation Army invites community to Thanksgiving feast

In preparation for The Salvation Army's Thanksgiving meal, many desserts have been dropped off and continue to be dropped off at the Harrington Hope Center. (ABC 7 Amarillo- Abby Aldrich)

The Amarillo Salvation Army has been cooking for days in preparation for Thanksgiving, where they will be serving close to 400 people.

According to Stephanie Pena, Public Relations and Donor Development Director for The Salvation Army, they will be serving over 20 turkeys, ham and many sides and desserts for the expected crowd. Pena tells ABC 7 News the meal is not only for the homeless, but for anyone in the community, making sure no one has to spend a holiday alone.

"Say for instance, it’s somebody that doesn’t have any family near by, we don’t want them to be alone," Pena said. "We’ve also had people who come in and they either come in and volunteer or they come to the meal and they have just had their family pass away and so we don’t want anyone to be alone on the holidays because the holidays are time to spend with people that you love or be surrounded by love.”

The Salvation Army will serve a restaurant style dining atmosphere with hostesses, a sit-down dinner, servers and table conversation starters. Pena said the community plays an important role in helping with preparations and the meal on Thanksgiving. She tells ABC 7 News they are expecting around 100 volunteers over the course of the day to help out in three different shifts, some of those including children.

“I think it’s great for kids to see that there is a need out there and so that way it can instill in them to be able to show compassion as they get older for people in need. That way they can be philanthropic as they get older to be able to give back to their community,” Pena said.

Wanda Fowler, Food Service Coordinator for The Salvation Army, said if it was not for the public's help, they would not be able to do this at all.

"I mean they are wonderful," Fowler said. "They come in and they help with their families and kids. A lot of families have been doing this for years and it’s wonderful to have them. And some of these people know each other, so it’s great.”

The end result, Fowler said is fulfilling.

“It’s rewarding in the end to know that you’ve done something great for everybody,” Fowler said.

While the deadline to bring in desserts for the Thanksgiving meal has passed, Pena said there are still opportunities to donate. Desserts can still be brought into The Salvation Army kitchen at the Harrison location on Thanksgiving. Pena said to follow the volunteer signs leading to the kitchen and you can drop off your dessert there.

The meal on Thursday will be from 12 to 2 p.m. at the Harrington Hope Center at 400 S. Harrison Street in Amarillo. According to the website, guests should enter at the 5th St. and Harrison door.

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