Thanksgiving, well Thanksgiving-Eve, has become my favorite holiday of the year. I’ve posted about this a few times over the years, so I will try to summarize…
In 2012, I was asked via a Facebook post from a friend to volunteer to serve food at a free Thanksgiving dinner. I had no idea when I walked into the kitchen, that I was walking into much more than a dinner.
In 2014, this is what I posted to Facebook after volunteering at the Thanksgiving-Eve dinner:
There are so many amazing people in this city that are Pittsburghers. Sometimes I am lucky enough to get to spend some a few moments with those people. Tonight, I helped a friend clean up from the community dinner that has been organized at the Albright United Methodist Church since the 1970s. The volunteers were led by a man that is 75 and has worked at Ritters for over 40 years. Earlier this year, he left Ritters and now works at Dennys. Today he cooked 9 turkeys and all of the fixings. Tomorrow he will feed 35 people at his house, then go to work at Dennys at 5pm. I have helped with the clean up for this dinner for the past 4 years and never had the chance to hear this story. I’ll gladly wash the pots and pans, and mop the floor any night of the week if I get to spend time with Pittsburghers like this.
On top of that, another kind Pittsburgher saw my post on Reddit about volunteering a the dinner and showed up to volunteer with out having heard of me or my blog. He had taken a quiz on Facebook and learned that today was his 10,000th day alive. To celebrate that, he spent the evening helping a few strangers.
That is just a little slice of Pittsburgh for you.
This year is the 45th Annual Albright Thanksgiving-Eve dinner. It is a free meal, cooked and served by volunteers. The guest are neighbors from across the city – some are hungry, some are lonely, some are there to take home some turkey to eat on Thanksgiving.
Help make the 45th Annual Albright Thanksgiving-Eve Dinner a success
1. Spread the word! Please invite your friends, neighbors, community groups and anyone else in Pittsburgh who needs some food & fellowship to attend. Here is a Facebook event you can share.
2. Donate $10. I’ve set a goal of getting 45 people to contribute to the GoFundMe in honor of this being the 45th annual meal. Click here to donate to the GoFundMe page (Friends of Albright is a project of New Sun Rising). We’ve just crossed the half-way mark and it would be great to get 20 more donors before next week!
3. Volunteer. This meal is 100% volunteers from the cooking to the cleaning. I’m incredibly proud that thanks to volunteers we are now able to use real plates and silverware and have significantly reduced the amount of trash that we produced when the meal was served on paper plates. Sign up to volunteer here.