Salvation Army feeds hundreds at Thanksgiving

November 23, 2018

Sholten Singer/The Herald-Dispatch Volunteers help serve guests during the Salvation Army's annual Thanksgiving dinner on Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018, in Huntington.

HUNTINGTON — Those who may not have otherwise gotten the opportunity to sit down and enjoy a hot, hearty meal on Thanksgiving got the opportunity Wednesday evening at the Salvation Army

The Salvation Army has provided the dinner for about 10 years the week of Thanksgiving. By about 6:30 p.m., the line had already served about 200 people.

Around 20 people worked to prepare and serve the meal to around 500 people. Cabell Huntington Hospital provided turkeys, mashed potatoes, gravy and green beans and the U.S. 60 Walmart donated all the pumpkin pies, so all the Salvation Army had to do was prepare stuffing, corn and rolls for the dinner.

Lt. Liz Blusiewicz, commanding officer for Salvation Army of Huntington, said providing the dinner to the community is a personal responsibility to her community.

“Number one it’s a huge responsibility and I feel the weight of that knowing our families in our community are really hurting, but this is the greatest joy,” Blusiewicz said. “I get to do the coolest thing every day at the Salvation Army. Our mission is to preach Jesus and meet human need, and there’s no greater feeling than sitting around the table with 500 of your relatives. It’s the greatest feeling.”

Blusiewicz said this holiday season, she has observed an increased need for coats and warm clothing for homeless people, but she also said the organization has seen an increase in donations this year.

“I think it’s a sign that our economy is improving slightly,” Blusiewicz said. “There’s hope there. We’re seeing people buy into what we’re trying to do here, which is meet human need at that foundation level, and people are willing to give more this year than I’ve seen in the past.”

As the Thanksgiving holiday comes to a close, the Salvation Army is looking toward the Christmas holiday with its Angel Tree program, which provides families with Christmas food and gifts for children.

The Salvation Army is still taking volunteers for bell ringers and other holiday aid, including helping to put together Christmas boxes on Dec. 1. The Salvation Army can be reached at 304-529-3401 for volunteer opportunities.

Follow reporter Megan Osborne on Twitter and Facebook @megosborneHD.

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