With the holidays quickly approaching and Thanksgiving less than two weeks away, the idea of service is coming forward in community members’ minds. What started as a free Thanksgiving dinner for approximately 120 community members has expanded to a free meal for over 2,400 people.
Thanksgiving Servolution volunteers united on Saturday, Nov. 15 at 11 a.m to serve Hammond. The event took place at old Schwegmann’s grocery store parking lot at 1000 S. Morrison Blvd. Thanksgiving Servolution was started in 2010 by Jason Granger, who serves on staff at a local church.
The day of service included The Hot Meal Distribution with Our Daily Bread Food Bank and Helping Hands Ministries, Adopt-A-School project with Hammond Westside Montessori and One Night in Bethlehem, where volunteers can help them prepare for their live nativity in December.
“The goal of the event is to mobilize hundreds of volunteers to serve the city of Hammond for the Thanksgiving holiday,” said Granger. “Through the various projects we host each year, we hope to meet the needs of our community, show Hammond that churches and organizations can work together for the good of our community and light a passion for service in the volunteers that come to serve.”
Along with around 500 volunteers, various churches and organizations came together to work towards one common goal. Generosity from businesses, non-profit organizations, churches and volunteers covered the expense for all the food that was served.
“If we all work together, we can achieve greater things than if we were to work alone or not at all,” said Granger. “Together we can serve more people through more projects. And it’s nice for the community to see that churches aren’t in competition of each other. We are one family, one body of Christ. There’s no reason why we can’t work together to serve our neighbor.”
Volunteers helped in the various serving events throughout the day. The Hot Meal Distribution project included a cook team, two teams to serve food and a clean up team.
The Adopt-A-School project allowed volunteers to impact over 1,300 students and faculty as they planted vegetables, trimmed hedges and paint ed an inside hallway at Hammond Westside Montessori.
The One Night in Bethlehem gave volunteers a chance to join Calvary Christian Center in preparing their property for the nativity in December.
“The event provides an opportunity for community members,” said Granger. “It provides an opportunity to have needs met. For volunteers, it provides an opportunity for them to see the needs in our community so that they can work to meet those needs throughout the year. The people that we serve through this event are the most important.”