- Special Sections
Bright sunshine and pleasant temperatures greeted both volunteers and guests at Jason Lee United Methodist Church on Thursday.
Approximately 60 volunteers worked through the Community Dinner Table (CDT), a faith-based group which includes participants from many churches and service organizations, to provide a Thanksgiving meal to all comers.
"Be sure to tell whoever is in charge that I appreciate it," said Mike Finnigian of Pocatello. "I'm a bachelor and all my relatives have left the area.
"It's enlightening on days like this and Christmas because you see the best in humans," Finnigian added.
"I came here because I live alone," said Lindy Hall, a retired farrier from Shelley. "I saw this (advertised) up at the Senior Center. I was going to go to Chuck-A-Rama, but I didn't want to."
Volunteers of all ages served the meal, bused tables and brought desserts and beverages.
"I just wanted to volunteer," said Cheri Palmer. "My family is all scattered and I like people."
Carter Andersen, who was serving beverages, said, "this is just a wonderful program. I'm thankful to be able to be here."
"Isn't this nice?" said Susan Christiansen as she surveyed the crowd of 100 or more. "It's a good turnout. The good weather probably helped. I'm glad it wasn't a blizzard."
Rebekah Jeffrey, a granddaughter of Rev. Gay Jeffrey, the church's pastor, was among those learning about service by working as a volunteer.
As people enjoyed their meal, they listened to Christmas music played by Dale Christiansen. Children had the opportunity to make projects in the kids' corner while their parents mingled.
"This is a day to be thankful for each and every one of those in this room," said Lee Hammett, a member of the CDT board. He encouraged everyone to relax, introduce themselves to one another and feel the warm of friends and neighbors.
Community Dinner Table provides a warm meal and fellowship to all comers each Tuesday from the end of October to the end of March. It runs from 5-7 p.m. at Jason Lee.