RHINELANDER - People love spending Thanksgiving with loved ones, stuffing themselves silly and watching football. But for others it's a time to give back.|
"Some people don't really have the opportunity to do this stuff so rather we give to them than just be selfish with our own time I guess," says Sarah Craig.
That's the premise behind today's event. Grace Four Square Church and North Country Vineyard have been distributing Thanksgiving meals for other people for five years now.
"We're taking them turkey, and stuffing, and beans and corn, and mashed potatoes to all the people who can't celebrate at home with their family," says Gavin Wallmow.
"Most of the time people don't have food that are working on Thanksgiving day," says Ryle Lewis.
They also take meals to everyone at Ministry St. Mary's Hospital, and households where people can't cook, or get out to be with family.
"People are just extremely grateful that someone cares about them on this particular day, Thanksgiving," says co-organizer Molly Ditzler.
"I think this is important so that we can be useful and so that we can share God's word to others, and to just be blessings in our own community," says Elise Ditzler.
The effort has grown over the years. They started by making 150 meals, and now make double that. Their volunteer numbers grow each year as well.
"We have roughly 50 volunteers today. It's a few more than last year; it's a real blessing to have them," says Molly Ditzler.
Everyone has their favorite part.
"It would not be the 101 potatoes that I shucked. It would probably be putting the turkeys in the roasters," says Wallmow.
"Everything. Just the thankfulness of the day," says Lewis.
"The best part to me is getting together and making meals with my friends and other people in my church. Making meals for others who cannot make their own meals today. That's my favorite part," says Elise Ditzler.