What began 30-plus years ago as a tradition of preparing a Thanksgiving dinner for parishioners of Our Lady Queen of the Universe Parish, Woodruff, continues at Holy Family Parish, Woodruff, having grown to include the larger Northwoods community.
About 575 people, including more than 100 volunteers, shared in the Thanksgiving feast, Nov. 26 at the church. Of those meals, 150 were delivered to community residents who live alone, are homebound or did not have transportation to come to the church.
“We have seen more community residents call to ask how they might help in the preparation and delivery of the meals than ever before,” said Merry Jorgensen, development and communications director at Holy Family.
For many volunteers, helping with the dinner has become a family effort and an annual event. According to Courtney Swift, who brought her daughters along to help, the event helps to instill a love of giving of themselves to help others.
Maggie and Dale Fuchs said they decided to help because they want to make a difference in the lives of others.
Others came to volunteer because they would otherwise be home alone on Thanksgiving, and helping gives them the opportunity to serve others while spending the holiday with friends and community members.