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Union Gospel Mission serves Thanksgiving meal

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Many of us gathered around the dinner table today with family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving. For those unable to do that, one organization offered a space for people to to share a warm meal.

From turkey to mashed potatoes to plenty of desserts, the Union Gospel Mission served up Thanksgiving meals.

“Just making sure people have a meal, a Thanksgiving meal, and that they feel special and loved, we have homemade placemats and things that we didn’t do last year, because we know the need,” communication and marketing development director, Elly Heckel said.

It’s an annual event with a chapel service and holiday meal.

“I think last year our final count was around 1,200 and I know we are anticipating between 1,000 and 2,000 this year,” Heckel said.

The Union Gospel served two meals on Thursday. Heckel says its something they’ve been doing the last few years due to an increase in need in the community.

“We do that for a couple of reasons, because of the timing of people maybe having Thanksgiving meal with their family or friends, volunteers wanting to serve, so kind of giving them some opportunities to serve, but also just the increase of guests that we have during meal service during those times,” Heckel said.

To help make this event possible, the organization relies on volunteers. Cindi Richards is volunteering with her family.

“We’ve volunteered off and on over the years, my father was the case manager here at the Union Gospel Mission for several years so volunteering at the mission, serving, is near and dear to our heart,” volunteer, Cindi Richards said.

An event making an impact and bringing the community together for the Thanksgiving holiday.

“Seeing the full tummies and happy faces covered with gravy and whipped cream is the best, there’s many good stories over the years from serving,” Richards said.

A Thanksgiving tradition of serving others.

The Union Gospel Mission will be serving meals again for the Christmas holiday.

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