Oak Hill volunteers gather to provide Thanksgiving dinner

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This morning, hundreds of volunteers lined up to prepare Thanksgiving meals for the Oak Hill area.

Darlene Newell is no stranger to the Oak Hill Thanksgiving dinner. In fact, she practically invented it. 15 years ago, she saw a need in the community and decided to do something about it.

 She says, “we started here at St. Andrews Episcopal Church which is quite small with a kitchen not larger, not much larger than what you have at home. We outgrew that in two years.”

They have since moved to the Lewis Christian Center, a space better equipped to handle the volume of food they now deal with.

Nearly 300 volunteers here will serve about 2,000 meals before the day is over. 

Sherry Keffer has also been involved with this event since the start, and though she tells me she’s ready to step down from her position as head cook, she is not completely ready to step away from the kitchen saying, “I keep coming back to doing this year after year because I can’t imagine not doing it.”

She says that although the dinner is designed to help those in need, it also helps her as a volunteer. “Every year when we come here to start working, we come in to an empty kitchen, and the food starts coming in and we start cooking and as we cook we laugh and we grow. We grow,” Says Keffer. 

And the hope is that the number of volunteers and meals served will also grow every year. 

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