25 years of the free Whiteaker Thanksgiving Dinner

25 years of the free Whiteaker Thanksgiving Dinner »Play Video

EUGENE, Ore. -- Now celebrating a quarter-century of serving up stuffing, yams and turkey at the annual Whiteaker Thanksgiving Dinner, organizers expect give away over 2,000 meals.

Lines stretched around the Whiteaker Community Head Start Center as people eagerly awaited the meal prepared by hundreds of generous volunteers and donors.

For volunteer Ron Pike, the dinner has become a 25-year-old tradition.

It has become part of the thanksgiving fabric of a giving community.

“Thanksgiving is a natural. It's a natural for people to gather together and to eat,” said volunteer 

What better place to eat, than among friends. Pike said that's the spirit of the Whiteaker Community Dinner, filling the void for those less fortunate.

“It's a chance to give back.  It's a chance to share with the community.  It's a chance to spend time with the community,” said Pike.

Others in attendance agree, like homeless man Shannon Henry. 

“I think it's great just to have something for Thanksgiving - something to eat. It shows that the community pulls together,” said Henry.

Head director Beverly Farfan said they also hands out sleeping bags, blankets, clothes and toiletries to low-income and homeless people in Eugene's community.

"They're getting coats and hats and gloves as they're standing out here in the cold trying to get warm," said Farfan.