Over the past few days, I helped prepare, cook and serve over 560 Thanksgiving meals, and I am the one who has been blessed. Having no prior experience with the event, I did not know what to expect. This actually worked to my advantage, since I was able to mask my reaction to the number of volunteers that suddenly appeared. I had been assigned to run the dining area. I had the task of making it work (which I already mentioned that I didn’t have a clue) and assigning the people to the job that would best suit them (although by the way I didn’t know many of them) in order to provide a pleasant and efficient dining experience for our guests.
The doors opened, the guests poured in, I took a deep breath and said a quick prayer. Our volunteers quickly fell into a routine that appeared as if they had been working together and doing this for a long time. Guests were welcomed, orders were taken, drinks were delivered and the service line produced order-specific meals like a well-oiled machine.
Due to the unexpected number of guests, the food ran out, but another outreach just happened to come by with their leftover soup and no one went away without something to eat. I arrived home – tired, hungry and happy. A short time later a good friend called to ask me how the event had gone and within 30 minutes showed up at my door with her husband to bring a full Thanksgiving dinner to my husband and me. They brought the food, asked for 2 plates and served us the meal. Amazing how comfortable I had felt all day serving food to others and how uncomfortable I felt being served. It made me think that maybe some of our guests also felt “uncomfortable” being served, but unfortunately they had no other option.