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Elk's Lodge Rolls Out Welcome Mat For Many Grateful Guests

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It's a day we all recognize the importance of being thankful for what we have and for some it also means giving back.

There's something to say about the delicious smell and taste of a warm Thanksgiving meal. But for those who came to the Mankato Salvation Army for the Elk Lodge's Thanksgiving meal, today goes beyond filling guests grumbling tummies.
Lori Schwan says, "It's very nice on a holiday to be able to have somewhere to go when you can't get out and about like you really want to."

Lori Schwan spent Thanksgiving at Salvation Army because she says her kitchen is too small to cook a proper meal, and now she doesn't have to.

Schwan says, "I'm thankful for food. I'm thankful for the people willing to give up their time to provide for others there is so much to be grateful for."
Volunteer Kennedy Jones says, "My family can afford a good meal, but not everyone can so we are giving them a nice meal so that they can have food on Thanksgiving."

Over the two decades the Elks Lodge has been putting on their annual Thanksgiving dinner at the Salvation Army kitchen.

This is John Anderson's eighth year. He's the mastermind behind this Thanksgiving Day operation.
Mankato Elk's Club Member, John Andersen says, "Every year I know I'm going to get up early come here meet a bunch of Friends and it's a great time to get together and feed all these folks."
The Mankato Elks Lodge has 12 turkeys, over a dozen pies, 80 pounds of potatoes and around 40 helpful volunteers to provide a delicious Thanksgiving meal to those who would otherwise go without.

Schwan says, "There's such a need in the community. So many people that do need this don't get out and are not getting fulfilled and wish there was a way to help everyone."

But for now there were plenty of helping hands who made a thanksgiving meal possible for many grateful guests.