University News Service
The 25th annual Community Thanksgiving Feast will once again usher in the holiday season for area residents. It is scheduled for Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 27, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Howard Payne University Mabee Center.
The annual tradition has been supported throughout the years by numerous individuals and organizations. Last year, 1,976 meals were served on campus and through the home delivery program in Brownwood and Early.
“What a wonderful testimony about our community, knowing this will be the 25th year in row that volunteers give their time and money to make Thanksgiving a very special holiday for their neighbors and themselves,” said Bill Fishback, assistant vice president for business and human resources at HPU.
“Last year, more than 130 volunteers helped serve meals at Howard Payne’s Mabee Center or deliver meals to those who could not join us on campus. A couple of weeks ago, we began receiving donations and hearing from people wanting to serve this year. Some have been asked if I thought the tight economy might hurt donations, but I have learned not to worry about the generosity of people in this area. They know the cost of preparing the meals is covered entirely by donations from individuals and organizations in the community and I know we will have enough to pay for the meals.”
The staff of Howard Payne’s Sodexho Food Service donates their time preparing the food so others can enjoy the Thanksgiving meal. Anyone in Brown-wood and Early who cannot join friends and neighbors at the Mabee Center can have meals delivered to their home by calling the Brownwood Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce at (325) 646-9535.
“The most difficult part of coordinating the event is finding enough jobs for all of the people who want to help, and that’s a great problem to have!” said Fishback. “Many of the volunteers have helped for years, so serving others that day is now part of their family’s annual Thanksgiving tradition. I have been involved for 16 years and there are several people I see only at Thanksgiving when they come to help or eat, so the day is like a family reunion with hundreds of friends!”
The meal is free and no one should feel obligated to pay, but if anyone who would like to help support the Thanksgiving meal may give a donation that day or make checks payable to the “Community Thanksgiving Feast,” and send them to Bill Fishback at Howard Payne University, 1000 Fisk Street, Suite 210, Brownwood, TX 76801.
The traditional Thanksgiving meal will consist of turkey and dressing and all the trimmings. “Last year, we served 560 people at the Mabee Center and we delivered 1,416 meals to our friends in the area,” Fishback said.
We always have fun visiting with each other and our guests and I want to thank those who continue to give their time and money to this wonderful event. We hope to make Thanksgiving a joy-filled day for our friends as we give thanks to the Lord for blessing us in so many ways.”
Volunteers who want to serve or deliver meals should arrive at the Mabee Center at 10:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day. “Volunteers do not need to call to let us know they are coming. They simply need to show up and we will put them to work,” Fishback said.