Groups Gear Up for Thanksgiving Dinners

10:58 PM, Nov 22, 2013   |    comments
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Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- Times may change, but the mission and the passion behind serving others around the holidays has remained the same for some Midlands groups.

"Growing up as children, holidays was the most exciting time of year other than your birthday and this is no different here," said Robert Keeder, a Coordinator for the Interfaith Thanksgiving Dinner. Volunteers from the St. Peter's Catholic Church and First Baptist Church of Columbia have joined together for their 23rd event.

They have been getting ready for weeks and recently began preparing a couple hundred turkeys for the meal, and while it feels good to serve the community, Keeder says it is also reminds them of the needs in the community.

"You're excited because they're excited, but it's sad that they have to spend time there at the coliseum instead of with their families in their homes and their children," said Keeder.

Ernest Carroll, with the organization Save Our Kids, knows that feeling. His group and other volunteers from Eau Claire High School are getting ready to host their annual Thanksgiving Community Dinner.

"The event, it's not program, you just come, you can get yourself a plate, talk to whoever," said Carroll.

Carroll says the groups have gathered about $15,000 hoping to feed about 5,000 thousand people at the free meal. He says it is about building the community and its people.

"It's not about what you can do, it's about what you should do, and I think a lot more people should be like, people friendly," said Carroll.

As the holidays draw closers and groups look for ways to help others, Keeder says it is about doing what is right.

"Just something that we should do, have to do and will do," said Keeder.

Both events are open to the community.

The Thanksgiving Community dinner will take place Sunday, November 24 at Eau Claire High School at 4800 Monticello Road and runs from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

On Thanksgiving Day St. Peter's Catholic Church and First Baptist Church will host the Interfaith Thanksgiving Dinner. It will happen at the Carolina Coliseum at 701 Assembly Street from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

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