UPDATE 11/29/2013 9:30 AM
Across 6 West Virginia counties, the Salvation Army gives back, as our community gives thanks for a hot meal and companionship this holiday.
Between 300 and 400 volunteers served Thanksgiving dinner Thursday to upwards of 1,000 people at the Salvation Army's Parkersburg offices on Fifth Street.
The crowds began grabbing a hot plate at 11 Thursday morning, volunteers began arriving at seven, after preparing the feast for the past three days.
Dinner consisted of more than 1,000 pounds of turkey, complete with all of Thanksgiving's traditional sides.
"It's taken a lot of time, a lot of volunteers and just a lot of churches that have been helping us out, even the hospital, to help cook all these turkeys and get them ready to serve," says Lt. Mechelle Henry. "When I got here, there were already volunteers who knew what to do. They were over the wrapping section of it, they were over the cooking section of it this whole event. I really just have to sit back and thank them for their service."
Among those volunteers were many area children, proving you're never too young in the Mid-Ohio Valley to lend a hand.
In addition to dinner, volunteers also wrapped blankets for seniors, wrote cards to our soldiers around the world, and gave away coats to anyone needing warm clothing this upcoming winter.
There will be a lot of turkey dinners prepared Thursday but the biggest dinner of all is ready to be served.
The Parkersburg Salvation Army Wednesday morning finished packing up the turkey and trimmings for its annual Thanksgiving dinner.
It will be served Thursday at the army's offices on Fifth Street and in six other area counties.
It's an annual effort involving more than 400 volunteers.
"There are a lot of volunteers who have come here for many, many years, and there are volunteers who show up just for one day," says dinner chairman Jim Maley. "Last year for Thanksgiving we had 414 volunteers to help us serve Thanksgiving dinner."
This year the dinner begins an hour earlier, at 11:00.
It will continue until about 2 p.m., or until the food runs out.