East Texans Volunteer For Salvation Army's Thanksgiving Meal - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

11/23/06-Tyler

East Texans Volunteer For Salvation Army's Thanksgiving Meal

It was a Thanksgiving for the record books at the Salvation Army in Tyler.  More than 400 volunteers got their serving spoons ready for a traditional Thanksgiving meal.  Hundreds of East Texans in need lined up for their holiday meal.  We got behind the scenes look at what all goes into preparing for this big day.

"One, two, three, four, I've got about 6 boxes and it will take a couple of hours," says Lindsay Cary, Volunteer.

83 year old Lindsay Cary and his wife Ozie have been volunteering at the Salvation Army every year on Thanksgiving day for 10 years. Today, they're in charge of slicing the turkey.

"We have the pressed turkey and run it through the slicer," says Lindsay.

"Cut them half in two and run them half at a time through the slicer.  We will make about 2,000 slices, 2 slices per person," says Lindsay.

From pealing oranges to mashing potatoes. The more than 400 volunteers prepared meals for almost 1,000 East Texans.

"It takes a lot to prepare a meal for 900 people," says Linda Edwards, Spokesperson at Salvation Army.

Linda says she's thankful for the volunteers who dedicated their time, and for all the food.

"For turkey's it take approximately 250 pounds of meat.  45 cans of #10 green beans go into making the green bean casserole.  About 260 pounds of sweet potatoes, 45 pounds of onions , celery, boiled eggs, bread.  Then it goes on and on of the cases of apples and bananas for the fruit salad, it takes a truck load," says Linda.

Although it's a long day, Lindsay and Ozie say they would not miss it.  

"It's like a big family, people come down year after year and get to see them. It's a great experience to be doing something outside of yourself.  It's something we really enjoy and look forward to," says Ozie Cary.

After the Salvation Army's Thanksgiving meal, some of those people got a chance to call their loved ones.  Atell donated phones and the free airtime so East Texans in need could make a 5 minute phone call to their families, anywhere in the United States.  

Karolyn Davis, reporting.  kdavis@kltv.com

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