Vernon community spends Thanksgiving together

Vernon community spends Thanksgiving together

For the last 30 years, people in the city of Vernon have been working to make people's holiday a little brighter and this year is no different.

"We've got 566 delivered meals today," said coordinators Sharon and Billy Goins.

Over 300 pounds of turkey was smoked, gallons of cranberry sauce and hours of preparing is what Sharron and Billy Goins is all a part of the "Holiday Spirit of Vernon."

"Today we got here at six and we are hoping to be locking the doors by three or four," said Goins.

The giving started when 30 years ago when Glen and Pat Bryant saw a need to provide Thanksgiving for those in the community, and thirty years later even with new coordinators the idea remains the same.  Everyone is welcome.

"I just don't want anyone to eat alone," said Goins.   "I don't want them to miss their meal and we want them to come up here and eat with us if they haven't anywhere else to go, we'd love everybody to come."

Jeri Lou Schmoker started volunteering 30 years ago, and says it is the people that keep her coming back every year.

"I really do like to come and help and see everybody," said Schmoker.   "I do see a lot of my friends here."

She has worn many hats over the last 30 years.

"I do whatever they tell me to do," said Schmoker.  "I do help them cook I don't help deliver, because I'm always in the kitchen.  So, I don't help deliver, but I do help with everything else that needs to be done."

Goins says a lot of work went into preparing for today.

"We work on the meal in planning, purchasing and looking for groceries almost every day for about three weeks leading up to Thanksgiving," said Goins.

She says with the number of volunteers they had, they finished setting up with record time.

"If it weren't for all these people we have here today, this wouldn't happen,"

Schmoker has a hope for future holiday seasons.

"We want it to continue to grow each year," said Schmoker.  "we love doing it so we want Billy and Sharron to continue to do this."

Last year volunteers fed about 1,500 people with Thanksgiving and Christmas combined, they say they are expected to do that again this year.