Salvation Army serves up thousands of turkey meals

By Justin Fujioka
Published On: Nov 28 2013 05:02:00 PM HST

More than two-thousand people enjoyed a free turkey meal at the Blaisdell on Thanksgiving.

Click here to read more in Justin Fujioka's article.

HONOLULU -

More than 2,000 people enjoyed a free turkey meal at the Neal Blaisdell Center's Exhibition Hall Thursday.

Click here to watch Justin Fujioka's report.

For 43 years, The Salvation Army has been hosting an annual Thanksgiving Dinner for anyone in the community to enjoy the holiday with others.

"We just like (to) celebrate with all our whole family and you know, just meet new friends and stuff like that," said Tisha Tai.

But the city and the Salvation Army serves up the free meal particularly for those in need, the homeless, the elderly and those alone.

"(The) majority of the people here don't have family and that's the only reason why I'm here," said Aimee Haraguchi. "I want to be a family to them."

The event would not be possible if it weren't for more than 800 volunteers like Nathan Moore.

"It's an opportunity for me and my fellow soldiers to give back to the community while stationed in Hawaii," he said.

That is the same reason Julie Dugan has been bringing her Job Corps students for more than 10 years.

"It makes you feel good," she said. "Myself and my students are fortunate. We have three healthy meals a day. A lot of these individuals don't have that or they just need fellowship or someone to wish them a happy Thanksgiving."

The meal takes months of planning. It's a way for The Salvation Army to give thanks to the community, and for the community to be thankful on this special day.

"Oh I'm so thankful, very much, big time, for all this. Thanks to everybody, The Salvation Army, you know, we love it. Every year. We try to make it every year," Tai said.

Local vendors and hotels donated all of the food for Thursday's free turkey meal.

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