NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Hundreds of people gathered at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Nacogdoches on Monday.
They attended a Thanksgiving service sponsored by the Nacogdoches Ministerial Alliance, which puts together the service every year. Afterward, they sat down to a community Thanksgiving dinner.
The event brings blessings in many ways.
Kitchen volunteers started preparing all the side dishes for around 500 people Monday morning. They have one rule.
"We only do it like Martha tells us," one kitchen volunteer said.
No, the kitchen volunteer wasn't talking about Martha Stewart. He or she was talking about Martha Lavitt, who is so confident in the cooks she's trained that she thinks nothing of stepping out to buy supplies.
"They've been working with me for approximately seven years, and so they're on automatic," Lavitt said.
Electric knives were used to carve up more than 50 turkeys cooked by volunteers from churches around town. The carved meat was served by pastors of the Nacogdoches Ministerial Alliance.
"We're called to do. We can do it," said Deacon Gary Giese with Sacred Heart Catholic Church. "We're capable of doing it if we just ask other people to help."
No one was left out. About 200 to go plates were boxed up for shut-ins.
A father and daughter helped out. It gave the Meals on Wheels staff a day off. More than anything, it brought happiness to this duo and the people they served.
"Even though with our handicaps that we have we keep going and we're holding each other together," said Joe Cashin, who received one of the meals.
Nothing will go to waste. Any turkey and side dishes not used will be given to Nacogdoches County Jail inmates Tuesday.