Salvation Army serving up big Thanksgiving dinner

The local arm of the Salvation Army is gearing up to serve a Thanksgiving community dinner with all the trimmings Oct. 11 from 4 to 5 p.m.

There is no charge to attend the function, which will take place at the Salvation Army church located at 4837 – 54 St.

Capt. Jason Sabourin, pastor of the Red Deer church, said he isn’t aware of a similar Thanksgiving community meal being offered in the City. In the past couple of years, the Salvation Army had run a Thanksgiving supper as a fundraiser for missions abroad.

“This year, it was decided to design the event as a mission to the local community,” he said.

Those who find themselves alone over the Thanksgiving holiday for whatever reason are welcome to come to the supper.

As Sabourin points out, it’s a time of year when those on their own or who are far from family can feel even more alone. The church is also offering to deliver meals to those who can’t make it to the dinner on Oct. 11.

Requests for a delivered meal must be received by Friday, Oct. 8 at 4 p.m., he said.

Meanwhile, support for the dinner has been strong with donations of cash and gift cards coming in from grocery stores and businesses across the City. Sabourin did say there is still a need for donated turkeys, however.

There are of course other events planned by the Salvation Army that are aimed at helping folks throughout the year. The Salvation Army takes appointments for the Adopt-A-Family Christmas program each fall, for example.

Hampers are put together to help families through the holiday season. Christmas dinner, at no charge, is also held each Christmas Day as well.

Ultimately, the Salvation Army’s Community Services department goes hand in hand with the church’s overall concept of ministry. It all stems from the vision of the Salvation Army’s founder, William Booth, who spent years as a Methodist minister traveling all around the England.

He returned to London with his family, and one day in 1865 he found himself in the city’s poverty-stricken East End. He formed ‘The Christian Mission’ which was changed in 1878 to the Salvation Army.

By the time Booth died in 1912 the Army was at work in 58 countries. Today, the Salvation Army is working in about 120 countries.

For more information about upcoming events at the Salvation Army or other services, call 403-346-2251.