When thanksgiving long weekend rolls around many people will spend at least a portion inside a kitchen.
Just maybe not one this big.
Cindy Carr: “You never really know how many people you’re going to get even though you’re hopeful. But we have a really good crew and it’s been quite smooth this year actually.”
More than a dozen volunteers have been at Martha’s Table most of the long weekend – trying to get ready for the annual Thanksgiving dinner – which is one of their biggest nights of the year.
Anywhere from 200 to 300 plates will be served during the meal – a long way from their humble beginnings.
Rhonda Candy: “When we started in 1997 our first meal we served 4 people. Every single year we’ve kept growing. 2015 there was a plateau. But I mean 44-thousand meals is a lot.”
44 thousand meals were served in 2015, 2016 is already well over that number and the year isn’t through yet.
Which means staff and volunteers need extra help when and where they can find it.
Rhonda Candy: “We have to make it work. We have to find ways to make the funds serve our needs and the community’s needs. But we are fortunate.”
Fortunate to have such a well-oiled machine of volunteers to make the day run as smoothly as can be.
Each one with their own reason for helping out.
“I started to volunteer shortly after I lost my husband. Because I was too lonely. I feel like Martha’s Table has been more help to me than I’ve been to Martha’s Table.”
“My mom has always told me that volunteer or helping someone else will always end up coming back to help you. So after my mom’s death I decided to come out and help anyone and everyone I can.”
“Basically, I enjoy it. But to give back to the community because the community’s been good to me.”
On thanksgiving Martha’s Table will cook 20 turkeys, 4 hams, hundreds of pounds of potatoes, carrots and onions, and enough pies to feed a small army. And it takes one to make sure all the food is ready in time.
Cindy Carr: “It’s all team work. Without a positive attitude and ‘I’ll do anything you need.’ It wouldn’t be the same.”