It was a day of thanks for many of the lakecity’s residents as the Williams Lake Salvation Army held its annual Thanksgiving Lunch on Friday, Oct. 11.
The dining hall was filled to capacity within minutes of the doors opening at noon, meaning close to 200 people were served within the first half-hour a delicious meal of turkey, mashed potatoes, carrots, beans and of course gravy. They were served by around 30 volunteers from local charities, aid groups, the Williams Lake RCMP and Mayor Walt Cobb.
The meal was kicked off by Salvation Army Lieutenant and executive director Dawn Butt who presented Cobb with a plaque that will be hung up in the newly refurbished dining hall. The Salvation Army had applied for a grant in aid from the City of Williams Lake, Butt said, through which they were blessed to receive $10,000. This money allowed them to redo the dining hall floors and make them more even as well as repaint the interior to something other than orange.
Their clients have been really grateful for the less treacherous footing, Butt said, and have really been taking care of the space since its completion. Making sure they feel safe and comfortable is what the Salvation Army is all about, she added.
Seeing so many people come through their doors was both good but troubling Butt said.
“Today has been an awesome day. It’s the first time in the three years that I’ve been here that we had no open seats right off the bat,” Butt said.”Which just shows the need is increasing for a hot meal but it also shows that people really trust us and what we do, so that’s really exciting.”
At the same time, however, she said her heart breaks that for many of them this lunch might be the only Thanksgiving meal they get. She’s thankful they can help fill the gap, however, with the help of their community partners and community volunteers. Without them and donations, Butt said they would be unable to help community members in times of crisis with food, clothes or furniture, depending on the situation.
“When the community gives back to us, it’s invested right back into the community,” Butt said. “Everything that is given to us goes right back into the community.”
On that note, Butt wished to inform the community their annual Christmas Kettle Campaign will be kicking off on Nov. 26 at Walmart at 1 p.m. So far the Midget Boys Timberwolves and Peewee Girls Timberwolves Hockey teams have taken shifts but she still has many empty spaces to fill in the schedule. Anyone looking to volunteer their time can call Butt at 250-392-2433 extension 216 or via 250-267-5032 or directly message her on Facebook.