CARTHAGE, Mo. — Thanksgiving brought a few dozen volunteers together to feed hundreds of people in Carthage. It was the annual Thanksgiving Outreach at the Carthage Crisis Center. Workers and volunteers have been planning for weeks, gathering supplies and identifying residents who are alone this holiday. An assembly line put it all together this morning, getting ready for a big delivery run.

Volunteers say it’s a labor of love.

“Thanksgiving is really all about family time celebrating and being thankful and I’ve delivered the meals personally on occasion and to watch a person’s face when you arrive with a complete Thanksgiving dinner. Their gratitude is overwhelming. And that’s really thanks enough for what we do,” said Jim Benton, Carthage Crisis Center Director.

“It’s really, it gets you when you’re out delivering and then you see how less fortunate some are. So I think that everyone should do a little something to give back each year,” said Melissa Wright, Carthage Volunteer.

Most of the meals were home-delivered, but a few dozen people also ate together in the facility dining room — the first time since the COVID pandemic. They estimate they fed a total of 300 people this Thanksgiving.