On Thanksgiving Day, volunteer Michael LaFevers said over 150 Salvation Army volunteers were expecting to serve a Thanksgiving dinner to 300-500 homeless Lubbock citizens.
“We’re just hoping we have as many people as we have food for today,” LaFevers said, jokingly.
LaFevers said the Salvation Army serves the community every day, morning and evening, and all day on the weekend. The Salvation Army website states the community soup kitchen serves two meals a day, for shelter or homeless individuals.
LaFevers said he has only been volunteering since the week before Thanksgiving, but said it really means a lot to him to be able to help out.
“The word homeless, it’s really kind of vague,” LaFevers said. “There’s people, a lot of people we’ll serve here today, that stay in hotels, that maybe have a place to be two or three times a week, that maybe don’t consider themselves homeless, but the fact is, they’re homeless.
“For us to be able to allow them to be here, to serve them a meal that they may not otherwise receive, it’s a blessing. It’s just a blessing.”
Fransico Arevalo is a Lubbock man who has come to the Salvation Army for a free meal.
Arevalo said he came to Lubbock from the Rio Grande Valley in search for a job. He had previously lost his job in the Valley and he said he was in search for something in a new city.
This is Arevalo’s first Thanksgiving meal at the Salvation Army, he said, but said he already knows the volunteers at the Salvation Army care about their work.
Arevalo said he is appreciative of the volunteers and their acts of service.
The streets are oftentimes unsure, Arevalo said, and he said he knows the Salvation Army will be there for him, and others like him.
Joni Lynch, describing herself as “simply a volunteer,” was giving her time to the Salvation Army Thanksgiving Day dinner tradition this year.
Lynch said the Salvation Army has been providing Thanksgiving meals to the homeless for many years, and it has become a tradition in many cities and states throughout the country.
“It’s really a blessing,” Lynch said. “It’s a blessing for anyone who comes and serves, and joins in the fellowship with these beautiful guests who have come to eat with us, today.”
Luther Robinson, a Littlefield, Texas native, said he has been coming to the Salvation Army for assistance for 10 years.
Robinson began to become emotional as he reminisced on past Thanksgiving memories.
“Thanksgiving’s wonderful, but it can be sad,” Robinson said. “You’ve just got to be thankful for what you’ve got, there are so many less fortunate.”
Although Robinson said his life is in transition, he said he is still is thankful for his life and for his health.
Robinson explained how his life, filled of a college experience, a 24-year marriage, and three children, was changed dramatically after two family deaths.
“Everything changed,” Robinson said, “but whatever God puts on your plate, you’ve got to eat it.”
Robinson said he is unsure of where his life will take him, but said he continues to hold on to his faith, to help him find a direction in life, and appreciates the help he has received from the Salvation Army.
“You have to have something to keep you going, until you find out where you belong,” Robinson said. “I don’t have a sense of direction right now, so when you kind of lose that, places like this are for people who are in transition.”