The turkey is delicious. The pies are scrumptious. But the true spirt of Thanksgiving is giving thanks for what we have. And this Thanksgiving holiday, the workers and volunteers at the Salvation Army in Ottumwa are honoring that tradition.
The Salvation Army hosted its annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner, free and open to the public.
"We should probably have about 150 people," Salvation Army Captain Oliver Anuth said. "They'll all have a traditional, regular Thanksgiving meal with all the fixings."
That meal would not be possible without the hard work of the volunteers.
"We have probably somewhere between 40 and 45 volunteers here helping out, which is great," Anuth said. "A lot of them are helping deliver the meals, which is a tremendous help, delivering that many meals. Some of them were here at 8 this morning getting everything ready and set up... a lot of work, preparation and planning goes into all this."
Some have been volunteering for years, while others have just discovered the joy of giving back.
"This is my first year here," volunteer Dania Debortoli said. "And I'm actually having a lot of fun. It's a lot more satisfying than staying home and obsessing over exactly what kind of mashed potatoes you're going to have, or what pecan pie and what recipe. This is a lot more fun and rewarding. So I'm really glad I cam down here."
The volunteers delivered almost 400 meals to families at their home, and served many more throughout the day.