HOLLAND, Mich. — Holland Rescue Mission fed hundreds of people on Wednesday during its “Great Thanksgiving Banquet.”
The annual event was canceled last year because of pandemic restrictions. It was held at DeVos Fieldhouse on Hope College’s campus.
“It’s wonderful,” said Linda Luth. “It makes you want to cry.”
Luth and her husband, Dave, were happy to be back. The couple has volunteered for the last few years. This year, they hosted attendees at a table, trying to make conversation and make them feel welcomed.
“The enormity of it just baffles me,” said Luth. “You can see that there are a lot of people that need us. We need each other.”
Luth added, “If we can help somebody, encourage somebody, pray with somebody, that’s what we want to do.”
The meal aims to provide a Thanksgiving dinner to people without the means to cook one for themselves and connect neighbors.
Katie Taylor, Holland Rescue’s volunteer coordinator, said events like the meal are needed after COVID-19’s social and economic strains.
“The purpose of this is to engage our community, to provide for their needs, and really we want to create a sense of community within our community,” said Taylor.
Organizers spent a year preparing for the event.
“It’s a great way to get people from all walks of life to sit around the table together and visit with one another.”