The Salvation Army feeds thousands on Thanksgiving

Imperial County

The Salvation Army feeds thousands on Thanksgiving

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EL CENTRO, CA (13 On Your Side) - The Salvation Army held their 9th Annual Thanksgiving Day Luncheon for the less fortunate.

This year, they expected over 2,000 guests to attend and hundred to volunteer.

People from all walks of life came to volunteer their time during the holiday. Several of them say it's good to give back and give thanks for what you have.

A holiday usually spent at home with family became a day of serving others.

At least that was the case for hundred of helping hands in El Centro, according to major Jerry Esqueda with The Salvation Army.

"The volunteers come from all over the Imperial Valley. In fact, we have snow birds that come in and we have families come in with their kids"

From preparing to serving, volunteers fed at least 2,000 needy and less-fortunate within the community - without thinking twice about it.

"It's also the attitude they have. And making feel people welcome and appreciated to instill that hope back into their hearts," says Esqueda.

First time volunteer Jenell Young says she stepped up to the plate because this time of the year is about others.

"There's a lot of people that are here that are hungry and that need help and I'm just trying to help them get along the process about feeding all these great people out here that are my friends."

The Salvation Army advisory board member Geoff Holbrook helps out because he wants to instill the gift of giving to his 9-year-old daughter.

"It's important for her at a young age to realize the importance of giving back. and we are fortune. and to give a little bit of that back to help the people that are maybe not be as fortunate as we are."

And so far, that lesson seems to be learned. Holbrook's daughter, Allison, who also volunteered, explains what her favorite part of the day was.  "Waking up and knowing that I was going to go here and helping."

Every year hundred more show up to the annual luncheon. But as long as donation come in and volunteers show up, The Salvation Army says it will continue giving back.

"The economy and everything - the way it's going," says Esqueda, "people have lost their hope, they've lost their compassion. We'll here - we're hoping to give it back to them."

If you would like to make a donation or volunteer with The Salvation Army, their office is located at 375 N 5th St, El Centro, California or you can reach them by dialing (760) 353-4880.