Tyler Salvation Army to serve annual community Thanksgiving meal

Salvation Army Preps

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - An army of volunteers is working to prepare Thanksgiving lunch for up to 1,500 people in Tyler.

The Salvation Army in Tyler will serve its annual community Thanksgiving meal on from 11:30 a.m to 1 p.m on Thursday.

The lunch not only benefits those served, but it gets people in the spirit of volunteering -- something Captain Robert Parker said can translate into year-round help.

"We hope that people will really enjoy [volunteering], and we can take that feeling and keep it going all year round. We have 364 other days with volunteer opportunities,” Parker said.

More than 200 volunteers have signed up to help prep, cook and serve this year’s holiday feast.

“This is our way of giving back — to help people. It’s better to give than it is receive,” said Shanna Hawkins, who’s in her eighth year of volunteering. “The look on their faces. They are so appreciative. Normally, I come back the next day to also serve, so just to see them and the looks on their faces. They are grateful.”

So what’s on the menu: Greenberg Smoked Turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, green beans, ambrosia salad, rolls and pecan and pumpkin pie.

The Hubbard Family, a five-piece East Texas musical group, will be performing during the meal.

The volunteers will return at 4 a.m. Thursday morning to finish up.

“It just spoke to my heart this year to come and help in the kitchen. Honestly, I can say I’ve received more than I’ve ever given in my heart," said volunteer chef Celia Balko. "If you haven’t volunteered, come try it. It’s wonderful.”

KLTV’s Sydney Shadrix visited The Salvation Army on Wednesday to talk to some of the volunteers who were busy carving those famous Greenberg Smoked Turkeys.

WEBXTRA: Volunteers at The Salvation Army show KLTV's Sydney Shadrix how to carve a turkey

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