Local church makes sure no one spends Thanksgiving alone

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Friendly faces, fellowship, and a full Thanksgiving meal greeted visitors at the Emporia Church of Christ's Community Thanksgiving meal Thursday at the church.

Thursday was her eighth year volunteering at the Thanksgiving Dinner.

Lisa Lynch, of Ashtabula, said she has been very blessed and volunteers, "Because it is the right thing to do". Marti has worked as a server every Thanksgiving for 30 years. The food was packed and picked up by volunteers and members of the Grovetown Department of Public Safety, who plated and delivered the meals.

"It is nice for people to be able to come here if they don't have a family", she said.

Hundreds of area residents had a special Thanksgiving dinner thanks to the efforts of dozens of volunteers throughout Ashtabula County.

Gratz said she was to be part of the take-down crew after Thursday's event.

Jewell has helped with the Thanksgiving dinner since 1989 and only missed two or three dinners to spend time with family out of town.

"We lost our husbands different times through the years so we're all widows and widowers...namely Henry and this makes it so much easier", added friend, Evi Costa. "Helping the community is really big for me".

The event first served about 70 people, Guza said.

This year, the Community Thanksgiving Dinner served 677 people, close to the 685 people served last year.

The CDT began nine years ago, when friends and neighbors Ron Thompson and Lee Hammett, wanted to help to feed community members in need.

Anderson said it's good to bring people together during the holidays, "They don't have anyone to do it with so it's kind of like the family they don't have". "It's a good feeling and I will be back next year, for sure", he said. It benefits the homeless in the community, especially from one nearby shelter, and even gets help from some Fordham University students who volunteer. "It was a blessing to have so many families sit down to enjoy a meal and visit with us as well", said Eric Martin, CCM executive director. The Groveland Second Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints church volunteered their time and talents to prepare and serve the meal at the Jason Lee Memorial United Methodist Church. The Kennedy's wish to express how grateful they are to serve the community and are thankful for your business and continued support.