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    People enjoy last year’s free community Thanksgiving Day dinner at Bethel Baptist Church. This year will be the 30th year the church, donors and volunteers have created the meal for anyone who’d care to come. (Contributed photo)

All are welcome to eat, volunteer at 30th annual free Thanksgiving dinner

Graham’s Bethel Baptist Church is preparing already to host its 30th annual free community Thanksgiving dinner. The church, at 209 Tennessee St., will serve dinner from noon to 1:30 p.m. Thanksgiving day, Thursday, Nov. 23.

The annual dinner began to feed those having financial difficulties, but over time, organizers realize many people may be alone, or unable or unwilling to cook a holiday meal, yet want to spend time with other people.

So these days, anyone and everyone may attend the free meal, which includes turkey, homemade dressing, gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, salad, rolls and homemade pie. Last year the church served the free meal – either in person, to go or by delivery – to 500 people.

“The donations and help with the meal are always greatly appreciated,” said volunteer Roma Brightman. “We have many volunteers other than church members on Thanksgiving Day as well as on Wednesday afternoon when we begin preparation.”

Preparation take place well in advance, with as much done ahead of time as is possible, so many tasks are already done by the time volunteers arrive at the church early Thanksgiving morning. Some volunteers and their families celebrate Thanksgiving on a different day so they can help serve the meal.

Volunteers also deliver food to participants in Meals on Wheels, which is closed on Thanksgiving day. Volunteers also deliver to anyone who can’t come to the church, if they call ahead and ask at
The church also can deliver a hot Thanksgiving meal to the fire and police departments, EMTs, nurses at the hospital, to nursing homes and home health workers – really, anyone on duty Thanksgiving day.

Businesses that have contributed this year include Walmart, United Supermarkets, Dinner Bell and Brother’s Smokehouse.

Anyone may donate to the church for next year’s meal. Monetary donations are also given by the church and the community.

The event is free for all to attend, and volunteers are appreciated. Church members encourage anyone who needs a fresh home-cooked meal to attend.

To arrange for delivery, a ride or to learn how to volunteer, call 940-549-0619.



The Graham Leader

620 Oak Street
P.O. Box 600
Graham, Texas 76450
Phone: (940) 549-7800
Fax: (940) 228-0589