ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – For the 27th year the Salvation Army alongside Golden Corral and more than 1,000 volunteers came together to show their support and compassion toward the less fortunate of Central Florida.
“4,500 pounds of turkey. 3,500 pounds of ham, 3,000 pounds of mashed potatoes, green beans and corn, 15,000 servings of dessert,” Captain Ken Chapman, Salvation Army Area Commander said. “Over a thousand volunteers are giving up their thanksgiving with their families to be here, some families are here together.”
Volunteers prepared and served meals from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. A special day to showcase the essence of the Central Florida community.
"When I was a child the Salvation Army was here with meals for my family when we were poor and this is our way of giving back," Erik Holm, owner of Golden Corral said. The restaurant began the event 27 years ago.
"It’s just showing the fact that we’re here as a community to be together to help each other," Peggy Choudrhy, Osceola county district one commissioner said. "One, it shows unity and two it shows that we are all thankful to be with each other."
For volunteer, Theresa Mott, it’s a day to let the homeless community know that they are not alone. Mott has been a volunteer for the event for eight years now.
"I look forward to it every year. What makes it special is just coming in looking at the joy and the excitement on the people’s face and then enjoying the privilege of enjoying this opportunity to love on them, hug them and share this special day of thanks with them," Mott said.
“When the community comes together and we show people that we care for each other this is a better place for all of us to live,” Chapman said.