Want to do a good deed on Thanksgiving Day? The organizers of the One Table community dinner are looking for volunteers.
Registration begins today. You can sign up by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We'll take volunteers until Nov. 15,” said Kathryn Wade, One Table's event coordinator.
Aiken's ninth annual community Thanksgiving dinner is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Nov. 28.
It will be held downtown in The Alley, and turkey with all the fixings will be served. Last year, approximately 1,700 people showed up, Wade said.
Volunteers are needed for a variety of jobs. Some jobs may require heavy lifting, some require fast thinking and some require only a smile and willing spirit, according to One Table's website www.onetable.org.
Most of the tasks are divided into shifts so volunteers can have an opportunity to enjoy in the event.
Anyone who is too busy to get involved on Thanksgiving Day can help prepare the turkeys the Tuesday evening (Nov. 26) before the holiday. People also can contribute desserts.
Donations of money for the community dinner can be made through the Christ Center Missions Division at 267 Laurens St. S.W.
The One Table dinner is free and open to the public.
“It's one long table of fellowship, and it's a festive time,” Wade said. “It's fun to be with neighbors and friends. There are people who have been coming for years, and they meet up with each other. We have about 20 churches and civic groups that participate, and they are assigned certain dishes to provide, but we do need people in the community to contribute the desserts.”
Music also is part of the One Table dinner, and this year's program will include performances by the Gospel Originals and the Aiken Area Akademie Homeschool Band.
“Everybody is invited,” Wade said. “It's not a soup kitchen kind of thing. It attracts a full range of people. Some are clearly homeless, and some arrive in Mercedes-Benzes.”
For more information on One Table, call 803-215-6010 or visit www.onetable.org.
Dede Biles is a reporter for the Aiken Standard.
She has been with the newspaper since January 2013. A native of Concord, N.C., she graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.