Community shares Thanksgiving
Bright sunshine and pleasant temperatures greeted both volunteers and guests at Jason Lee United Methodist Church on Thursday.
Approximately 60 volunteers worked through the Community Dinner Table (CDT), a faith-based group which includes participants from many churches and service organizations, to provide a Thanksgiving meal to all comers.
"Be sure to tell whoever is in charge that I appreciate it," said Mike Finnigian of Pocatello. "I'm a bachelor and all my relatives have left the area.
"It's enlightening on days like this and Christmas because you see the best in humans," Finnigian added.
"I came here because I live alone," said Lindy Hall, a retired farrier from Shelley. "I saw this (advertised) up at the Senior Center. I was going to go to Chuck-A-Rama, but I didn't want to."
Volunteers of all ages served the meal, bused tables and brought desserts and beverages.
"I just wanted to volunteer," said Cheri Palmer. "My family is all scattered and I like people."
Carter Andersen, who was serving beverages, said, "this is just a wonderful program. I'm thankful to be able to be here."
"Isn't this nice?" said Susan Christiansen as she surveyed the crowd of 100 or more. "It's a good turnout. The good weather probably helped. I'm glad it wasn't a blizzard."
Rebekah Jeffrey, a granddaughter of Rev. Gay Jeffrey, the church's pastor, was among those learning about service by working as a volunteer.
As people enjoyed their meal, they listened to Christmas music played by Dale Christiansen. Children had the opportunity to make projects in the kids' corner while their parents mingled.
"This is a day to be thankful for each and every one of those in this room," said Lee Hammett, a member of the CDT board. He encouraged everyone to relax, introduce themselves to one another and feel the warm of friends and neighbors.
Community Dinner Table provides a warm meal and fellowship to all comers each Tuesday from the end of October to the end of March. It runs from 5-7 p.m. at Jason Lee.