Shared Blessings Homeless Shelter will host their 4th Annual Thanksgiving Dinner at the shelter located at 518 Grove St. in Bonne Terre.
Shared Blessings Director Shelly Bess said they haven’t received much support this year so far and with it getting close to Thanksgiving they are reaching out to the community for help.
“So far it has been really slow. We haven’t had anybody step up and say they are bringing us a mass amount of turkeys or hams or anything yet,” said Bess. “We need everything for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. We need desserts, cranberry sauce, rolls, ice, drinks, everything … and paper supplies, too.”
Bess said they need those donations so they can deliver the meals and serve everyone. They will be hosting the dinner at the shelter and delivering meals to low-income families and to seniors since the senior centers will be closed Thursday and Friday.
“We need people to help serve the food, deliver meals and cook,” said Bess. “Also we need people to help with donating food. Our first year we served 500, our second year we served 1,000 and last year we were right at 1,500. So we are anxious to see what God has in store for us this year.”
“If you don’t have anybody to spend Thanksgiving with please come spend it with us on Thursday, Friday or Saturday,” said Bess. “If we have enough manpower and food we will deliver meals to the Bonne Terre and Park Hills senior centers Meals on Wheels recipients. They will give us a list of everyone on their (routes) that wants a meal and we will deliver to them.”
Bess said they will also go into the low-income housing areas in Park Hills, Bonne Terre and Desloge and deliver to the kids. They have been able to feed a huge amount of kids over the last three years and they are hoping to get to do that again.
“Any time after Monday we will need people to help us get the building ready,” explained Bess. “We are asking for some people to bring some prepared food because we can’t cook it all there. So if people will bring stuff already done, we will have a couple smokers there to keep stuff warm.”
Volunteers are needed from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. They will begin serving the meal about 10:30 a.m. each of those days.
“We are going to try and have the to-go plates out the door by 10:30 a.m. then anybody can just come in and eat whatever they want, sit around and have a good time with us,” said Bess. “Bonne Terre Ministerial Alliance is huge in this endeavor and they sort of wait in the back and are ready to help if they need to step in to fund it all. We are hoping that we don’t have to do that, but I think we should recognize they have stepped up the last three years and said they would fund this if the community did not.”
Anyone interested in participating in the Thanksgiving feast by donating or volunteering their time can contact Shared Blessings at firstname.lastname@example.org or on their Facebook page or call 573-358-2998.
Renee Bronaugh is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3617 or email@example.com