The Glendale Salvation Army has been feeding the community a Thanksgiving meal for more than 15 years, and on Thursday, they continued that tradition.
Dozens of people lined up inside the Salvation Army from midday to enjoy a hot holiday meal with others. “Some of these people, my kitchen crew and staff have been serving Thanksgiving meals for at least 10 years,” said Rick White, Glendale Salvation Army director of social services and volunteer coordinator.
White and Captain Rio Ray thanked the Glendale Hilton, who donated cooks and ovens to bake half of the turkeys, other kitchen volunteers and the Glendale Noon Rotary, who provided the turkeys for the holiday.
Dennis Hailey is a new volunteer, but as a graduate of the Anaheim Salvation Army Rehabilitation Center, serving food to others this Thanksgiving helps in his journey of sobriety.
“I was homeless, hopeless and helpless and the Salvation Army saved my life,” Hailey said.
Ray emphasized that eating a Thanksgiving holiday meal at the Salvation Army was not for just the homeless.
“I feel that the Thanksgiving meal is a community meal. I’m amazed at how many families show up because of the economic hard times. It’s a place for the poor, the working poor, people who are alone on Thanksgiving," he said. "It’s not just about handing out food, but about the people as well."
Steven Elliott, who’s eaten a Thanksgiving meal at the Glendale Salvation Army for the last two years, echoed Ray’s sentiments.
“Being homeless for two years, these people [sharing the Thanksgiving meal] are family. I’ve seen the same people. The economy sucks, it’s the worst I’ve seen it in 52 years," he said. "Everybody needs help, and if it means you go to church for a meal, then you go to church for a meal."