Thanksgiving is coming early this year at a special feast organized by the Nanaimo Working Group on Homelessness.
The group hosts its fourth annual Thanksgiving dinner Saturday (Oct. 8) at St. Paul’s Anglican Church, located at 100 Chapel St., starting at 4:30 p.m.
France Tellier, a member of the Working Group and director of programs for the John Howard Society, said the dinner is not only meant to nourish people’s bodies, but also create a sense of connection and community.
“Everyone who participated in this has a sense of gratitude and a sense of community,” said Tellier. “It’s that building of community we need and it’s creating awareness.”
While the dinner is aimed at helping homeless individuals and low-income earners, Tellier said everyone is welcome to attend.
“It’s about companionship and just enjoying and sharing a good meal and a great time with others,” said Gord Fuller, a member of the Working Group and chairman of the 7-10 Club Society.
This year the Working Group isn’t having two seating times, but instead will serve the meal continuously throughout the evening. Tellier said the dinner will continue to be served as long as there is food and individuals who are hungry.
The Working Group is seeking volunteers to help. Volunteers are critical to the evening’s success and are needed to fill a variety of roles including serves, dishwashers, setup and cleanup crews and cooks.
Tellier said for last year’s dinner, a volunteer cooked 50 pounds of potatoes for the feast. It’s that kind of dedication that makes the dinner a success every year, she said.
The organization is also seeking donations of food including turkeys, hams, desserts and vegetables.
Tellier asks that individuals please contact her at the John Howard Society prior to donating items to ensure there isn’t an excess of one particular item and lack of another. Entertainers willing to donate their time for the event are also asked to contact the organization.
For more information, to volunteer or donate supplies please contact 250-754-1266.
Donations for the dinner can also be made online at www.canadahelps.org by selecting the Nanaimo Region John Howard Society and specifying in the donation message where the funds should be applied.