JOPLIN, Mo. — A church in Joplin is continuing a well-known tradition of preparing their annual community Thanksgiving dinner.
Family is the centerpiece of the annual Thanksgiving dinner at First United Methodist Church.
Volunteers like Gayle Warren have been preparing to feed as many people as possible.
“Well I started at a quarter to five this morning.”
But she’s been working a lot longer than just today.
“This is 17. 17 years, yeah.”
Warren says coming back every year to volunteer is worth it.
“There’s nothing more rewarding than to have people come in where it’s warm, have a meal, have people wait on you.”
This year, she’s thankful to have her daughters to serve by her side.
“They’re my support group”
Because she is recovering from a recent surgery.
Warren says she doesn’t plan on sitting down or hanging up her apron anytime soon.
“And I have two granddaughters here.”
Because younger generations are looking to follow in her footsteps, serving the community.
Something Phillip Anderson can relate to.
Phillip Anderson, Volunteer, said, “We’ve been here, every year, for 18 years.”
With his children by his side.
“Having them here beside us doing this makes it even more special .”
“There’s just nothing more rewarding than the faces on each person. There’s nothing better,” said Warren.