Volunteers get started early to prepare hundreds of Thanksgiving meals

Posted at 6:15 PM, Nov 25, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-25 19:17:34-05

Norfolk, Va. - At St. Mary's church in Norfolk, more than 200 people were served an early Thanksgiving meal Wednesday.

But long before they opened their doors and people sat down to eat, volunteers spent hours in the kitchen preparing all the food.

This is the second year Wendy Fatal has come to help, bringing her 8-year-old son along with her.

"It's very, very fulfilling knowing you're doing something to help someone," Fatal said.

The Union Mission in Norfolk will be serving their meal on Thursday, but with so many people to feed, the prep work began a day early.  Two dozen turkeys were seasoned and cooked Wednesday.

"A lot of work, a lot of work, but it's all worth it," said Linda Jones with the Union Mission.

The Salvation Army has a team of volunteers also keeping busy.

"Yeah, there's a lot going on all at the same time," said Betty Eastman.

They boxed up 400 meals at their Portsmouth location Wednesday afternoon before being sent to area shelters, community centers and senior apartments.

It's a lot of work making everything come together, but any of the volunteers will tell you, it's something they gladly do to make sure people have a warm meal for Thanksgiving.

"It just helps them to kind of forget some of the troubles they have in their lives and just a time of joy, and to experience that fellowship and family and having people who care about you enough to come and do this for them, so it's very exciting," said Jones.