MOUNT VERNON, OH (WCMH) — Can you believe Thanksgiving is just 10 days away?
That said, some may not have the means to make a whole Thanksgiving feast. Others might not know where to go to get a nice hot meal.
A woman in Mount Vernon wants to help. She’s created a tradition that many love.
Sarah Wood started organizing free Thanksgiving dinners in Mount Vernon 18 years ago. Each year, the dinner is held in memory of her daughter Michelle, who passed away.
“Michelle which is my daughter who perished in a fire in 1990 so I keep thinking you know what it would mean to her and what it means to my family,” said Sarah Wood.
The tradition has continued as a volunteer-driven event where all items are donated from you the community.
“God has blessed us more than you can possibly imagine every year. There’s been years at 2am, we haven’t had enough turkeys, but all of a sudden someone messages me and says, ‘Hey I’ve got two turkeys.’ So, that part God takes care of,” says Wood.
John Nixon, who works in the building where the dinner takes place, says he enjoys seeing such a great event take place right in his community.
“I think it’s very nice that she’s done it and she’s done it for the amount of years she’s done it and a lot of people come in and take advantage of it,” said Nixon.
Sarah says they end up serving more than 500 people.
“To me, it is huge that you can feed this many people in one day. I mean, it’s just fantastic. These are the plates we will be serving people and we actually got new plates this year and I am ecstatic about that, real silverware we do try to keep it as homely as possibly,” said Wood.
But Sarah can’t do this without your help – saying they do have enough turkeys this year however any donations are welcome.
“We need about 250 pounds of potatoes we need 60 pounds of sweet potatoes we need all of our fresh fruit and vegetables. 1-200 pounds of apples because we do allow people to take apples home with them and the kids and the seniors citizens are like oh we get fresh fruit so that is amazing,” said Wood.
“Maybe to meet some people and be able to go someplace for Thanksgiving dinner and give thanks for what we have and have somebody to share that with,” said Nixon.
“The dinner is open to absolutely everyone. We want to feed you and definitely you don’t go away hungry,” said Wood.
It all takes place Wednesday, November 23rd at the Memorial Theatre here on E. High Street. Doors open at 3:30.
Sarah Wood says this wouldn’t be possible without her family. Adding she wants to thank Wood Forrest Bank, Food for The Hungry, Donkey Ford, Kenyon College Kitchen Staff, Knox County Realtors, Computers for Kids, Ryan Sponsler Foundation and the countless volunteers throughout the years.
Any donations can be sent to PO Box 484, Mount Vernon, OH 43050.