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‘I’m so grateful’: Hundreds gather to share Thanksgiving dinner at Salvation Army

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Hundreds of people gathered for a free Thanksgiving meal at the Salvation Army Freedom Center in Humboldt Park on Thursday morning.

The sit-down meal, open to all, was the first meal the Salvation Army was able to host in-house even before the pandemic began. For the past three years, the group has only been able to give out Thanksgiving dinners as takeout.

“It’s exciting. rice field.

The meals were standard Thanksgiving fare, including turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie, handed out by volunteers. The Salvation Army distributed 700 of his hot meals and 2,300 of his takeaway meals. These were prepared by Levi in ​​his restaurant.

“It’s healthy for people to get together and share their happiness and joy,” said Hughes. “The holiday season can be sad and tough for some people, so it’s important to come together and be with people.”

Some of the families enjoying the meal were recent immigrants from Venezuela: Luis Torcates, Getzabet Chavez, and their 6-year-old daughter Hally, who spent a month in Chicago. It was our first time having Thanksgiving dinner.

“The food is very good,” said Torcatez in Spanish. “We are very grateful for everything.”

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Jocelyn Ochoa, 31, from Venezuela, eats with her family while holding 4-month-old Javieris Ochoa.

On Thursday morning, Leonard Jackson stopped by for a meal. He is recuperating at the Salvation Army’s Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Center and celebrated one year since drinking the day before his vacation.

“I am so grateful today. We move so fast in life that we don’t stop or slow down to be grateful and grateful,” Jackson said.

He also enjoyed the opportunity to share a meal with friends and appreciated the service of the volunteers who distributed the food and drink.

“They make you feel special. You really feel the love,” Jackson said. “It’s beautiful to come together like this.”

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Salvation Army captain Nicky Hughes welcomes guests on Thursday.

Many who had volunteered did so for the first time, including Roberta Marion, who came to volunteer with her husband Jim and brother Francis Stacon.

The three decided that helping the Salvation Army would be a better way to spend the day than a big family dinner.

“It’s been great and challenging,” said Roberta Marrion. “When you are blessed, it is important to give back.”

Derrick Andrews was also a first-time volunteer, but he plans to make it a regular part of Thanksgiving going forward. , want to do more volunteer work.

“I’m glad you came to help. I’ve already asked about Christmas help,” said Andrews. “It’s very special to help make someone’s day better.”

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Derrick Andrews, a first-time volunteer, provides drinks. He looks forward to helping out at Christmas.


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Written by Natalia Chi

Chicago Popular; Chicago breaking news, weather and live video. Covering local politics, health, traffic and sports for Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana.

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