Thousands expected at annual Thanksgiving meal
How would you like to share an intimate Thanksgiving dinner with thousands of your closest friends? If helping others is your way of giving thanks, join your neighbors in volunteering to make Thanksgiving a little brighter for less fortunate Houstonians. A tradition that is now in its 28th year, the City Wide Club of Clubs’ annual Thanksgiving Feast will be held at the George R. Brown Convention Center on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 23.
When the club first began the project of giving holiday meals to poverty-stricken Houstonians in 1978, the meals were prepared in people’s homes. As the event grew over the years, larger facilities, such as hotels, were needed to accommodate the crowds. When the event outgrew those venues, it moved to the convention center. Between 35,000 and 40,000 people are expected to attend this year’s feast.
Everyone who comes is welcomed, fed and encouraged to apply for services that the organization provides year-round. “We offer so much more than just food at the feast,” explains Stephanie Lewis, project director for CWCC. “There is medical assistance available. We have information on housing, employment opportunities and educational opportunities.” Lewis adds that food baskets with two or three days’ worth of provisions will be available for people to take home after the gathering. “We try to address everything that we can while we have everybody in one spot.”
CWCC was founded in 1975 and chartered in 1985. The organization strives to provide services for the less fortunate, such as rent and utility assistance, clothing, job training, and tutoring and recreation after-school programs for children. Though assistance is offered at several locations throughout Houston, the City Wide Club of Clubs’ headquarters is the community center at 3229 Hadley in the Third Ward.
Past volunteer servers have included Mayor Bill White, Reps. Al Green and Sheila Jackson Lee, and President George H.W. Bush. You can volunteer to set up or serve meals by calling (713) 752-2582 or (713) 528-4712. As a volunteer, you will be invited to partake in this special meal. You can schedule to work a shift anytime between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, so you won’t have to miss your own family gathering.