Hundreds in the community came together for Salvation Army Thank - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Hundreds in the community came together for Salvation Army Thanksgiving meal

LAWTON, OK (KSWO)- The Lawton Salvation Army held their annual Thanksgiving meal today in the hopes of not only bringing the community closer together but providing a meal for those who may not have friends or family to spend the holiday with. 

The meal started at 11 this morning and ended at 3 this afternoon. Nearly 70 volunteers served 300 meals to people in the community.

The meal featured smoked turkeys from Rib Crib, different trimmings from Golden Coral, and citizens from the community made several desserts.

From people saying "Happy Thanksgiving" to "Thank you", the room was filled with joy and happiness. I talked to some people who told me they were thankful for the meal the Salvation Army provided while, others just wanted to come out and fellowship with others. As for the volunteers, they say it's all about giving back.

"I am so blessed to be here today," Jonnie Culley says she has family that lives in different towns. She was unable to visit them this year and did not want to spend Thanksgiving at home alone. "A friend brought me down here to the Salvation Army and I didn't have anything to eat at home and stuff like that."

Culley says it’s wonderful to see people giving back and helping others like herself. She says it feels like one big family. Culley says the most rewarding thing about today was getting help from the volunteers and eating Turkey, which is her favorite.

“They were so nice to me, you know I don't even know them. They really blessed me today for being here," said Culley.

This is Aiyana Basa-Johnson's second time volunteering for The Lawton Salvation Army. She said she loves giving her time and serving others on Thanksgiving. She especially loves seeing their reactions.

"Just getting a lot of thank yous, a lot of thank yous and you can see it in their face that they are really grateful for what you are doing," said Basa-Johnson.

Lawton Police Chief James Smith volunteers his time every year and says he's  blessed to spend this day serving others in a different way from his role with the city's police department.

“Just being thankful for all the blessings that we have in this community and this land, and giving back," said Chief Smith.

Lawton Salvation Army Captain Israel Roseno says despite the challenges he faced this past week to make this day special for others, he says he is thankful for all those who helped make it all possible.

"I'm very thankful for our volunteers, I'm thankful for our community, I'm very thankful for our businesses for supporting us and I'm very thankful for the people that comes to eat, some of them may don't have enough to eat and some of them just want company, they want to be able and come to have a timeless fellowship with someone and that means a lot to me," said Captain Roseno.

Roseno says the most rewarding thing about Thanksgiving is serving others.

"I think we are in a community that really are so concentrated, they concentrate too much and it is about me and it’s about me. So it’s good when we come together and say you know it’s not about me, it’s about the people that we serve, so to me that’s the most fulfilling think about today is that we get to serve other people," said Captain Roseno.

Roseno says the giving doesn't stop at Thanksgiving. He says The Salvation Army is continuing their Red Kettle and Angel Tree Campaigns. They also need volunteers to ring the bells.

If you would like to volunteer, call the Lawton Salvation Army this holiday season at 580-355-1802.

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