People who have no family to share a holiday meal with are very depressed when Thanksgiving is celebrated. They have no one to eat the traditional Thanksgiving feast with. They might be shut-ins, who cannot go out of their house to get a meal.
The local, Centennial Bank, has solved this problem. Bob and Catherine Blankenship had started a community Thanksgiving dinner at their local church. Their daughters and others in the community helped to organize and plan the feast. The meal was held at a large church in the community. It grew to hundreds, and the local churches had volunteers come in and assist the Blankenship family.
As their daughters got older and the couple decided to retire, the dinner was too much for them to keep up. The news went around Conway, Arkansas, that the dinner was not going to be held. That was when Centennial Bank’s employees decided to take on the task of holding the dinner.
In 2009, the employees took over the task of providing the community with this meal. They arranged for the shut-ins to receive a plate delivered to their house on Thanksgiving Day. Their employees volunteered to begin cooking the night before Thanksgiving, making dozens of turkeys. They started making the dressing, sweet potatoes, green beans, and homemade rolls. Volunteers from the Bank signed up for shifts to serve the community on Thanksgiving Day. There is no charge for the meal, and no one has to bring anything. It is all provided by the Bank.
Various employees volunteered to pick up those who needed a ride to the dinner. People were to contact the Bank if they needed a dinner brought to them or a ride to the dinner.
Traditional Thanksgiving fare will be served, including desserts. Once again, the meal is free and open to anyone who does not have a place to go on the holiday.
Last year’s event served hundreds of people, who would have spent Thanksgiving alone. Many people met others who had no one to share a Thanksgiving meal with. No questions as to eligibility was ever asked.
This year’s Thanksgiving feast is already planned by the Centennial Bank Employees. The volunteers have been assigned their duties and shifts. The supplies have been ordered. This way of giving back to the community by the Bank employees is a gift to a community that shows their gratefulness for the trust that Conway has given to their Bank.
Thursday, November 25, 2010, Conway will once again have a community Thanksgiving feast. It will be held at the First United Methodist Church from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The employees will cook, serve, deliver, and clean up after the meal. With the depletion of many food banks, it is estimated that the dinner crowd this year will be larger than previous years. The Bank wants everyone who will not be able to have the turkey and all the trimmings to come join them at their community feast.
For more information, contact www.my100bank.com.