by Jennifer Biller
CLARKSBURG -- Thanksgiving came a day early at the Clarksburg Mission.
About 200 people came to the mission for a free, hot, traditional dinner.
"We baked 13 turkeys, made 10 pounds of macaroni salad from scratch, and we had mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, green beans and rolls," said volunteer Vickie Nichols. "It's a home-cooked meal, that's for sure."
Nichols and her husband, Spence, spent the week coordinating the food for the dinner. In addition to the traditional fixings, diners enjoyed a buffet of desserts such as pumpkin pie, cake and cookies.
"This is such a community effort," Spence said. "We couldn't do anything without the support of the businesses, churches and residents."
The mission delivered 58 Thanksgiving baskets to those in need this week, who couldn't make it to the annual dinner, said Yvette Jones, mission director. The baskets included a turkey, stuffing mix, cheesecake mix, canned green beans and corn, gravy mix, cranberry sauce and other treats.
"I love this job because every day feels like Christmas," Jones said. "I'm overwhelmed at how much compassion people have and how much they want to give."
The mission serves regular meals during the week to about 60 people a day, Jones said. Senior citizens on a fixed income often come to the mission near the end of the month for meals, she said.
Volunteer April Stout, of Clarksburg, was happy to help serve dinner this year.
"It's my first time doing something like this," she said. "I have my whole family and so much to be thankful for that I just wanted to help someone else."
Those wishing to make donations can send them to the Clarksburg Mission, P.O. Box 1123, Clarksburg, WV 26302. For those wanting to volunteer, contact Jones at 622-2451.
Staff writer Jennifer Biller can be reached at 626-1449 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.