“The only requirement is that you bring an appetite.”
That was the word from Capt. Mark Larrick of the Salvation Army regarding the organization’s annual free Thanksgiving dinner.
The meal will be served from 4 to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 24, in the basement dining room of the lodge at the Delaware Worship and Community Center. The facility is located at 340 Lake St. in Delaware.
Larrick and his wife, Stephanie, have served as commanding officers and pastors in Delaware since June of this year. He said they hope the free community meal will encourage local residents to develop an attitude of thanksgiving that lasts throughout the year.
“Sometimes it’s difficult to find something to be thankful for, but just taking a few moments and stepping back, some of those things that may have been hidden from your sight become apparent,” he said. “That’s one of those things we’re hoping to foster with the fellowship and time of being around people. Sometimes, dare I say, we get so caught up in our little bubbles of going, doing and being, even though we’re around a lot of people, we’re not really engaged with them. This gives people who come out to eat an opportunity to interact with people they might not normally interact with. It also gives the volunteers a chance to interact with people they might not know.”
Larrick said the Salvation Army is seeking volunteers to assist with the large undertaking.
“We’re still in need of some volunteers to come alongside and to help out with the preparation on (Monday) as well as on (Tuesday) with the serving and, of course, the clean-up afterwards,” he said. “We’re anticipating a decent crowd. We’re still accepting donations of turkeys and other items for the meal.”
Larrick said he is planning for about 150 people to attend the dinner. He said 127 area residents were served in 2014.
Planning for the annual Christmas assistance program is still in progress, Larrick said. The Salvation Army will prepare 150 food boxes that will be distributed Dec. 17 at Greenwood Lake Camp. He said qualified local residents may still apply for the Christmas assistance program.
Applicants need to have the following items on hand at the time of registration: Identification for all adults in the household; birth certificates for children under age 18; proof of residency (current utility bill or lease agreement); and proof of income for the household. For more information, call 740-369-5301.
Area residents have signed up with the Salvation Army to adopt 25 local families for the Christmas season, Larrick said, but there are many more on the list. Those interested in helping can call for information.
Those who still wish to make donations to the Salvation Army for the Christmas assistance program can drop off items at the service center from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. weekdays. Larrick said donors will receive a receipt for their donation.
Andrew Carter can be reached at 740-413-0902 and on Twitter @AndrewCarterDG.