Tyler Salvation Army feeds more than 1,000 people

TYLER (KYTX) - People in East Texas giving thanks for a warm Thanksgiving meal today.

The Salvation Army has seen numbers go up across the country.

Those with the Salvation Army say it could be the economy that's driving people here.

No matter the reason, the organization made a big event and filled every plate it could.

Micah Staley, his wife and 9-month-old daughter are enjoying their Thanksgiving dinner along side hundreds of others.

"Feels good, real important we're real thankful," says Staley.

Staley has been staying at the Salvation Army and says he and others wouldn't have had a full plate without the full room and full set of volunteers.

"It's worth it to even see all the people coming in and they're super excited, just waiting for the turkey to be served," says Diana Gamez, a volunteer.

Gamez came to give back for the first time, she wanted to be a part of Thanksgiving at the Salvation Army because she understands what it feels like.

"Came to a point in my life where I needed the help as well and to be able to fulfill the position, to be able to come in and cut a turkey or fill a fruit bowl for somebody to eat is awesome for me," says Gamez.

Before you walk inside you can hear everything, once in the doors the feeling is electric. The band is playing, there's a clown and balloon animals for kids and 1,000 people sitting down for a meal.

"About 500 pounds of potatoes, 150 pounds of onions and 300 to 350 turkeys will be served," says Major Dorris Lawrence with the Salvation Army in Tyler.

That's a lot of food being dished out to boxes and plates.

There was even an early visit from Santa for many thankful people.

"I am truly thankful that I have been given the privilege to be here," says Major Lawrence.

"It's a blessing, God works in mysterious ways bringing us to different places in our lives," says Staley.

Of course Major Lawrence says the Thanksgiving dinner couldn't have happened without all the donations and work from volunteers.

It's a tradition that dates all the way back to 1897.

Major Lawrence says they had more than enough volunteers, they even had to limit the number this year because of the turn out in years past.

For information on how to volunteer, click here.


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