BATON ROUGE, LA (FOX44) — Thanksgiving is right around the corner and not everyone can afford a thanksgiving meal. The Holiday Helpers is a non profit organization that puts together meals on big holidays, including thanksgiving, for those in need.
And this year the demand for a Thanksgiving Day meal is higher than ever-and the organization itself says that they are focusing on the meaning more than the food itself.
The holiday helpers supply a Thanksgiving Day meal for up to two thousand people each year. Organizers say the focus is more to share a meal and conversation with others than to solely feed people.
"Food for the stomach and nutrition for the body is one thing but being able to relieve the mind of the stress strain and pressure comes with the ability to exercise the ability to communicate with others," says Major Reginald R. Brown, who is an organizer with Holiday Helpers.
And those who are volunteering there time, might actually be struggling themselves.
“But when they come out they put aside whatever it is that they have because it makes them feel better to be able to give back through the means at which they give back," noted Major Brown.
"Most of the volunteers who come out may have food or they may not and they still want to come out and help those that are less fortunate," says Wanda Thomas who is also a volunteer.
And just like Mien, she believes in paying it forward, especially during this time of year. "I once didn't have a whole lot so I grew up not having a whole lot so now I like to give back,” says Mein Peittler.
And last minute, the holiday helpers needed dessert for the meal on Thursday, but with all the community support; they solved the problem in no time.
"We look at that as everybody wants to give and want to do their part and blue bell happened to step in with 3 days notice and take care of their force," says Thomas. So no matter what struggles each person is dealing with, the Holiday Helpers want to provide a place for people to come together, share a meal, and discuss what is really important; family and friends.
The thanksgiving dinner will be open to the public on Thursday. It is going to be held at the River Center ballroom, and the Holiday Helpers are expecting up to two thousand people to attend.