One turkey at a time.
That's how Ruth Robinson and others, from Chariot of God's Love in Jay, are building the community Thanksgiving feast.
The event, set for 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., on Thanksgiving day, Thursday, Nov. 23, typically feeds between 300 and 500 people. Some in person at the Jay Senior Center, others, by delivery within the Jay city limits.
It's all part of a ministry, which stretches beyond the church's doors - and is designed to serve the community at large.
How it began
Robinson said church members began hosting the community-wide dinner in 2011, after then organizer Pricela Morgan passed it on to them.
From donations, ranging from food items to cash, members of the church - which is an affiliate of Community Chapel - build the feast.
The meal includes turkey, potatoes - this year both white and sweet, green beans, cranberry sauce, dressing and either pumpkin or apple pies.
While many of the items have been acquired, Robinson said some openings remain including the need for at least six, cooked turkeys for the day. It takes approximately $700 worth of food to feed those who attend.
"A lot of people don't have a place to go, or no family to celebrate with on Thanksgiving Day," Robinson said, adding the group also provides meals for the law enforcement and fire personnel who are working on Thanksgiving in Jay, as well as the clerks at the convenience stores.
Robinson said volunteers will begin working in the days leading up to Thanksgiving to ensure the feast pulls off without a hitch.
She requests the cooked turkeys be brought to the church, at 324 South 7th Street, in Jay, by Tuesday, Nov. 21.
On Wednesday, Nov. 22, volunteers prep the turkey for service, as well as cook/prepare the other food items.
In all, Robinson said it takes at team of at least 25 volunteers, including some from the CAAIR facility in Jay, to pull the entire project off.
While Robinson needs people to donated and cook turkeys, and help prepare other items, she also needs volunteers on Thanksgiving Day - including delivery drivers.
"People can call or just show up," Robinson said with a smile, adding she also needs plastic shopping bags, in order to help organize the delivery items.
The best thing about the event? Robinson said happy people.
"People get to sit down and eat a holiday meal," Robinson said. "People really appreciate it. We've had moms with small children, who are so thankful.
"We get the satisfaction of knowing people, for at least one day, get to sit down at a holiday table and enjoy dinner in a friendly atmosphere.
For more information, or to volunteer, persons interested may contact Robinson at 918-253-7447 or the church office at 918-253-4334.