Volunteers prepare for Vernon Holiday Spirit Meals

Published: Nov. 23, 2022 at 6:27 PM CST
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VERNON, Texas (KAUZ) - Volunteers in Vernon are gearing up for their big Holiday Spirit Thanksgiving Dinner.

The volunteers are all about giving back to their community. They were excited and happy to give up their time for others so they can feel loved and not lonely. Sharon Goins, Holiday Spirit Meal coordinator, took over the tradition in 2016 and isn’t giving up on spreading a little cheer.

60 loafs of bread, 300 pounds of ham and 32 carton of eggs - that’s the amount of food the Holiday Spirit Meal volunteers need to put together for Thanksgiving to give to the Vernon community. One long-time volunteer said although they start prepping for Thanksgiving in June, it’s all worth it.

“That’s the main thing, we don’t want nobody to eat alone,” Grace McLaughlin, a volunteer, said.

And here’s why.

“We’ve got several that have called and said thankfully I have a job and I can’t cook this year or unfortunately I’m ill and I can’t cook this year. But we’ve got a lot that are going out to people who are needing them because they’re busy or cause they’ve got family issues and that’s what we’re here for,” Goins said.

McLaughlin has volunteered for the past two days. She said volunteers aren’t just in-house, they’re spread all over and that’s how they’re able to make it all come together.

“The community has been showing up with deserts this morning, We have the clubs that come up, we have individuals that come up and it’s a community affair too. And we couldn’t do it without all these volunteers,” McLaughlin said.

Goins said they make sure to put a little food aside to feed those that help them stay safe throughout the year.

“We are taking 60 to the jail, we’re taking to the fire department and the police department. They’re short staffed on the holidays so we take to the jail. Glen and Pat started that and we continue with that,” Goins said.

Through it all brings new memories and new people each year.

“We had somebody with a helicopter land in the parking lot and they came in and helped us serve,” McLaughlin said.

If volunteers get there by helicopter or car, it doesn’t matter. The Vernon community looks forward to all the help they receive. They plan on feeding close to a thousand people on Thanksgiving.

Goins said she knows that her feet will be hurting by night, but it’s for a good cause.