CommUnity Thanksgiving Celebration is a no-cost holiday meal and fellowship for Etowah County residents. Every year the community brings local volunteers and donors together with a mission of providing a place for families to spend and share a meal together. For over two decades, we have provided meals to thousands of families from all-walks of life. This event is open to everyone who wishes to attend but it could not take place without the help from individuals like yourself and corporate sponsors. Your giving, whatever the amount, helps us ensure that no one goes hungry or is alone on this very special holiday.
A family environment for everyone to feel welcome and loved on Thanksgiving Day
CommUnity Thanksgiving Celebration is a no-cost holiday meal and fellowship for Etowah County residents. Every year the community brings local volunteers and donors from all over the country together with a mission of providing a place for families to spend and share a meal together. For over two decades, we have provided meals to thousands of families from all-walks of life. To provide a meal to all those who wish to join, we host several fundraising events throughout the year that allow us to raise the necessary funds to ensure nobody goes hungry or alone on this special occasion.
True to the mission, the organization provides free meals to anyone who needs it on Thanksgiving Day every year. While the service mainly caters to the homeless, poverty-stricken, elderly, special needs adults, veterans and families it also welcomes with open arms anyone in need of companionship on this day. Guests are welcome to dine under one roof with other community members or choose to have their meal elsewhere. Services include a take-out or a delivery within Etowah County.
CommUnity Thanksgiving started back in 1998 as an idea with the first gathering at East Gadsden’s New Liberty Tabernacle of Praise church. Never did anyone imagine it would blossom into an event serving over 8,000 in 2021 and growing every year! Etowah County is blessed to have caring people who are ever-willing to invest in their neighbors by serving a hot meal. Our focus is still the same as when we first started - to nourish their stomachs by filling them with a delicious holiday meal,their souls by having hearts of empathy and kindness, and their minds by filling them with unforgettable memories of service.
Under the outstanding leadership of the compassionate citizens, CommUnity Thanksgiving is now a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization complete with bylaws and an official board of directors. The entire event runs solely on donations and volunteers, relying upon generous community members. With over 1,000 volunteers in 2021 the organization served 8,784 meals with a budget of $30,000. On Thanksgiving Day alone at The Venue at Coosa Landing 1,064 people gathered to share a Holiday meal. For those that could not dine-in, Delivery accounted for 1,026 meals and 2,860 were To-Go meal. In addition, extended meals accounted for 3,834 plates.
The event has already reached multigenerational status by becoming a family tradition for many to nourish their spirit of community amongst the young and the old. As evident in the testament of many families, the annual event has taken a special place in people’s hearts and minds where each year they look forward to rekindling with the old and forging with the new to forge a path forward.
Looking into the future, the stewards of this event see a state and eventually a country wide expansion of the idea to include people from all walks of life to partake in this great American tradition of giving and identifying as a united community; where we first come together as strangers but leave as a family.