SYCAMORE – Rev. Marvin Metzger and a team of more than 100 volunteers served a pre-Thanksgiving turkey dinner to hundreds of their neighbors on Sunday.
“There are families, there are single people, there are people who are away from family members so they can’t have a Thanksgiving meal,” said Metzger, associate pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of St. John, 26555 Brickville Road in Sycamore.
The church has hosted the dinner for decades. Metzger said more than half of the approximately 230 people the church serves each year are not members of the church, and that all members of the community are welcome regardless of need.
Geraldine Bess of DeKalb got a ride to and from Sycamore, and visited the church for the first time on Sunday.
“Everything is terrific,” Bess said. “Very good, very good.”
“I would have been at home alone and I like to be around people,” she said. She said she may attend another community meal in the area on Thanksgiving Day.
The dinner included the traditional staples of turkey, mashed potatoes, dressing, squash, rolls, gelatin salads, and desserts.
The tables and chairs were set up Sunday morning by children who spent the night in the church for an overnight “lock in” featuring songs, games, and worship with church staff and volunteers.
“It’s wonderful how these kids are always willing to help out,” Metzger said.
Free Thanksgiving dinners open to the public will be served in several locations on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 28.
• New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, 1201 Twombly Road in DeKalb, will serve from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.
• The Kingston Friendship Center, 120 S. Main St. in Kingston, will serve at 1 p.m.
• Feed'em Soup, 122 S. First St., will serve from 4 to 6 p.m.
Dinners are open to anyone, regardless of need. Free-will donations are accepted, but not required.