A group of volunteers from Emmanual Baptist Church in Ardmore are going the extra mile for Thanksgiving.
Ardmore Soup Kitchen is always open during holidays, but this year volunteers are doing something extra by donating an entire Thanksgiving dinner. Organizer Vicki Quinby said the group was assigned the week of Thanksgiving by chance.
“They announced it’s our week to serve, and it’s on a volunteer basis,” Quinby said. “We can either sign up or not, but we’ve had very good participation. A lot of people signed up this week.”
Church members frequently work at the soup kitchen, while other volunteers aren’t members of any particular group and just drop in to volunteer with whoever is working that week. Johnny Wann, another volunteer, said the group is bringing in smoked turkeys, stuffing, vegetables, salads, rolls and desserts. Wann said salad is a favorite among soup kitchen guests when it’s available.
“We’re doing a pretty typical Thanksgiving,” Wann said.
Volunteers all handle their own family’s Thanksgivings differently. Some, like Wann, plan to have their
celebrations earlier in the day and then head to the soup kitchen. Others, like Quinby, will have Thanksgiving Dinner after working at the soup kitchen.
“We have a huge Thanksgiving,” Quinby said. “This way, everybody gets to see more of everybody.”
Mike Phipps, another volunteer, said he’s been volunteering at the soup kitchen for the last several years, but this will be his first time doing so during a holiday. He said that rather than scheduling his Thanksgiving around the soup kitchen, he got his entire family in on it.
“I told them if they wanted to eat, they’d have to serve here also,” Phipps said. “It’s important for people to see what the other side of the coin looks like sometimes.”
Wann said next year the same group plans to prepare a similar special dinner for Christmas.