"Twas the morning before Thanksgiving, and all through the kitchen (of the Clubhouse Ballroom), a lot of creatures were stirring, and chopping, and stuffing, and such!"

The 5 folks working in the kitchen that morning are not likely to appreciate the "creatures" word, but the folks who will receive the Thanksgiving Meal will think them close to angels!

Early that morning, the first of many Interfaith volunteers met to begin the turkey stuffing, and the preparation of the other ingredients.

 

While some were working on the turkey, others were preparing vegetables, chopping celery and onions — all to be part of the meal to be delivered to Rossmoor's shut-ins and those who live alone between 11:30 and 12:30 on Thanksgiving morning.

Still other volunteers working at home prepare cornbread, mashed potatoes and all the fixings. When finished, these will be brought to the kitchen, stored and readied for distribution on Thanksgiving morning.

 

Of course there are the deserts: pies — pumpkin or apple or maybe even peach? And to top it all off, one of the other volunteers measures out colorfully wrapped candies into bright bags as the "after dinner mints" of the meal.

Organization is critical for this rather complex happening to work smoothly. Here two volunteers discuss plans for assembling and delivering the meals.

 

A light moment during the kitchen work is provided by the group's mascot!

"Little Trot" oversees all the work.

Every now and then someone pats
" Little Trot" on the head. If the "patter" isn't forewarned, it is quite an experience! Suddenly the little bird jumps up and down, wiggles its wings and loudly sings the words of the "Turkey Trot" in a suspiciously masculine voice.

Little Trot is definitely a "Wake me up!" mascot.

 
     
 

Bringing a Thanksgiving Meal and a Blessing to others

Through announcements at the Services of the three Faith Communities, a list is compiled of Rossmoor residents who would benefit from this gift. The Rossmoor News also requests that names be given to the Interfaith Council Thanksgiving Day Committee.

The purpose is to be certain that no member of our community will spend Thanksgiving Day alone without someone reaching out to them in caring. If appropriate, the meal team spends time with the resident, may help heat the meal and just be there to show that here in our town — no one will be forgotten.

 

Thanksgiving Day dawns!

Now it is time to assemble the meals for delivery. Volunteers gather to put slices of turkey with gravy into styrofoam containers.

Adding vegetables is also part of the packaging process.

Of course, there is the cranberry sauce! Here a volunteer works to prepare it for delivery. Look at the slices of pie on the right!

Meanwhile, in another part of the Ballroom, a leader is instructing the Delivery Teams in their Thanksgiving Morning role. Names and addresses of recipients are handed out. There are instructions about offering the prayer that accompanies this gift.

Then at last, the Delivery Teams pick up the yellow bags containing the Thanksgiving Day meals.

This volunteer had a special team member in a teen granddaughter who will help him in delivering the food. What a wonderful gift of love and caring they shared together.

It has been said that often this outreach is as rewarding to those who prepare it as those who receive it. Such it is when Faith Groups share their common service to others in the name of God.

 

The card accompanying the meal says that it comes from the Interfaith Council of Rossmoor

" . . .an organization made up of representatives from the three faiths in Rossmoor: Catholic, Jewish, and Protestant. Its purpose is to promote respect among the Faiths and to enhance understanding of each other's beliefs through joint activities. Thanksgiving Dinner is one of our projects. We are pleased to serve this dinner to you! We hope you enjoy it."

 
 
 

The Prayer visitors share with the recipients reads:

"Oh, Lord, today our nation unites in giving you thanks for your gifts to us as people and as a nation.

I thank you for people in this community who care, for the meaningful connections to people throughout my life, for the beauty and wonder of this world, and for all the times you have been there for me in the days of illness and trial.

Accept the thanks of your grateful people and continue to look down upon us and give us your blessing. All this we pray in your name. Amen"