Thanksgiving can be a time of great joy or great sorrow for some. With the coming of the holiday season, those with families and circles of friends rejoice in those relationships, while those who have no family or few friends, many times, are left to fend for themselves.
For more than 20 years, the city has had a Community Thanksgiving Dinner for those who have nowhere to go, or for residents who want to spend time with neighbors. Begun in the 1990s, the Community Thanksgiving Dinner is celebrating its 7th year under the auspices of a committee of the First Congregational Church. Once again, Bill Ewry is the chairman, and he’s looking for help.
In a letter sent this week, Ewry thanked those who made the dinner a success in the past, and restated the particulars of this year’s meal.
“The dinner will once again be hosted by The First Congregational Church of West Haven. The church is located at 1 Church Street, but the main entrance to the dinner is located at 464 Campbell Ave.,” he said.
This year’s meal will be like all the others, the menu consists of: turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potatoes, green beans, carrots, dinner rolls and dessert.
The dinner will be served buffet-style from noon until 1:30 in the Fellowship Hall.
“As a community dinner, we ask the community to help in many ways, such as: donating a baked pumpkin or any other favorite seasonal pie, preparing and serving the meal or helping with the clean-up,” Ewry wrote.
As with other years, getting dessert pies is a big part of the help people in the community can give, but any help is appreciated.
Anyone interested in helping can contact Ewry by phone, (203) 933-6291, or by email at [email protected]. Pies will be collected on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday the week of Thanksgiving prior to the dinner at the church. Anyone who would like to donate a pie should contact the church office at (203) 933-6291, to coordinate the drop-off of the pies.
The Community Thanksgiving Dinner began in the 1990s as an outreach of several congregations in the city. The West Haven Emergency Assistance Taskforce (WHEAT) had a big part in establishing the dinner, and several ministers and clergy were part of its establishment.
Over the years, the scope of the dinner and the dinner committee grew into other areas to the point a re-organization had to happen. Ewry took over the Thanksgiving Dinner and has been chairing the event these seven years.
The event is more than a way to help the poor and lonely. Over the years families have come to the dinner as a way of showing community support. Ewry believes the event is an important part of the holiday season in West Haven, and thanks all those residents who help make it a success.