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Salvation Army holds annual Thanksgiving feast

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IT WASN'T just the homeless and jobless who turned up for the 16th annual Thanksgiving feast held by the Salvation Army at the Chamorro Village yesterday.
There were also families, the elderly, the disabled, and even people such as those often seen behind the counter at favorite fastfood restaurants.

In addition to providing for the less fortunate, the luncheon was also for people who have no other place to go or no other people to be with during Thanksgiving.

The food court area was warm, but the Salvation Army volunteers had the meal out and ready to serve by 9:30 a.m., though the feast was not scheduled until 11 a.m.

“The number of people keeps getting bigger,” stated Roque Cruz, a resident of Chalan Pågo and volunteer server. “With the way the economy has been, you expect it. But to actually see and serve the people, it’s different.”

Cruz has volunteered with the Salvation Army’s Thanksgiving Day feast for five years. He said there’s an indescribable feeling that brings him back every year to help. After that first year of volunteering, he was hooked.

Cruz served beside others yesterday who had not helped out at a feast before. He said these people would get to experience the feeling themselves first hand and may return another year.

Spreading joy

Jennifer Mapa, 21, was volunteering for the first time. “I’m looking forward to just helping out and spreading joy,” she stated. Throughout the year, Mapa volunteers with other events and organizations.

The Girl Scouts were on standby to deliver prepared plates of food to the elderly and disabled who could not stand in line to be served. There were also a few people in wheelchairs and crutches as well as a number of young children, who were excited by the balloons decorating the eating area.

While some ate their meals in the dining area, others took their meals and ate at a more secluded area, or took them home.

In years past, a truck would pull up with bags of food for the families and individuals attending the event. However, due to several difficulties last year, it was decided that the food bags would be distributed at a later date with the help of the villages’ mayor's offices.

Instead, each person who received a meal was given a raffle ticket, and a prize was awarded to the winner of the raffle drawing.

With the closing of one of the Salvation Army’s biggest events, the organization will now turn its attention to its biggest fundraising event of the year: the Red Kettle Campaign.

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