By Abigail Loop
Mission Waco is giving the less fortunate a chance to celebrate Thanksgiving Day with dinner and worship at their annual Thanksgiving Meal With the Homeless.
Starting at 11 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day at the Meyer Center in Waco, Mission Waco is inviting the homeless people of the community to come and partake in traditional festivities.
A worship will begin the event, followed by a home-cooked meal that is prepared and served by volunteers.
After lunch, Bingo and games will be played.
Jimmy Dorrell, executive director of Mission Waco, said they have been doing this for about seven or eight years and that the meal and worship is a time to create a loving and friendly environment for the homeless.
“The homeless may have the least but they seem to be the most thankful ones there, it’s really great,” Dorrell said. “It’s a warm sense of sharing a family meal and sharing of God.”
Dorrell said he is expecting 100 homeless and 65 volunteers to attend the meal this year.
“We fill up the place every year,” he said. “We also get a huge group of volunteers each year who help out a lot.”
For people to volunteer at Mission Waco for the Thanksgiving meal, they can email Dorrell firstname.lastname@example.org.
People can make donations to Mission Waco and the Thanksgiving Meal by visiting Mission Waco at 1315 N 15th St.
Chandra Londenberg, a Mission Waco volunteer, said the donations that can be made are turkeys and desserts for the meal, as well as monetary donations that will also go toward the meal and to Mission Waco.
Londenberg and her family have been helping Mission Waco for around five years and says she thinks the meal is a great way to give back and help out the community.
“We need to remember those without family and who are hurting,” Londenberg said, “The best lesson we can teach people is to be givers. We serve these people 150 percent. It’s very important to help the community.”
According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, the nation’s homeless population decreased by about 2,325 people this last year.
The national rate of homelessness was 20 homeless people per 10,000 people in the general population.
Lodenberg said she believes every year the Thanksgiving meal becomes more important.
“Every year the need gets greater,”Lodenberg said. “This is not about money but just about doing God’s work and provide meals for those who do not have one.”