Published 4:00 am Friday, November 27, 2015
If only one person benefitted from the Thanksgiving Day meal at Southside Baptist Church, that would have been worth it to Elaine McLeod.
McLeod, a member of Southside Baptist Church, knows how it feels to be alone on a holiday and wanted to prevent others from feeling that way.
“I’ve been by myself on Christmas Day a couple of times,” McLeod said. “There is not way to make it a holiday.”
For the second year, McLeod has organized a Thanksgiving Day lunch for anyone who is alone on Thanksgiving, doesn’t get to go home with their families or just needs a good meal. Last year the meal was hosted at the American Legion building, but she decided to have it at a different location so the community would not think the meal was only for veterans.
“There are a lot of people that aren’t able to have a meal like this,” McLeod said. “It is nice to be able to give them the opportunity to take advantage of this if they want to.”
With the help of fellow church members, McLeod was able to serve four turkeys, five pans of dressing, five pans of corn casserole, three pans of copper pennies, three pans of sweet potatoes, green beans, rolls, cranberry sauce and a variety of homemade desserts.
“We were very blessed,” McLeod said. “All this cam in from donations from our church members. We started cooking Wednesday from 1 to 7 p.m., and we got here at 5:30 (Thursday) morning.”
Several volunteers were at Southside helping McLeod cook and serve the meal.
Mitzy Distel, with the Ladies Auxiliary Unit 70, said this is her second year to help with the meal.
“A lot of local veterans around town are older and can’t cook for themselves, and their wives are no longer with them,” Distel said. “They come here to eat.”
Distel said her father was a veteran and she prefers to eat her Thanksgiving meal surrounded by other veterans.
“My family is used to me not being there,” Distel said. “My father was in the Navy and was always gone. We were never the traditional family anyway.”
She said that being able to serve the community feels more like a family to her.
“This is really great because I still don’t know a whole lot of people in Troy, and this give me the opportunity to meet new people,” Distel said.
Dorothy Magee lives alone in Troy and went to Southside to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal that she would not have been able to prepare herself. She attended the meal with her son, Tim.
“We knew it was going to be delicious and didn’t want to miss it,” Magee said. “It was nice.
Magee said that the meal at Southside reminded her of Thanksgiving gatherings many years ago.
McLeod said that a Christmas meal is already in the works for those who will also be alone on Christmas.
“It’s just something to give back to the community,” McLeod said.