ROGERS, Ark — Bright and early Thanksgiving morning volunteers will be gathering at First Baptist Rogers to prepare meals for more than two thousand people in the community.
“It’s hard to even imagine that somebody would be willing to get up at four in the morning to come cook for someone that doesn’t know, so we are very grateful for our volunteers, and they have been doing for years, so it’s a very well-oiled machine and they are kind of their own family. They come and serve together as a family and go back to their own families,” said Ali Wollard.
For a little over a week the church has been taking calls from people wanting a home-cooked meal delivered on Thanksgiving Day.
Ali Wollard and her husband are two of the more than 250 volunteers who will come to the church and deliver the meals to families who requested them around town. Last year was their first-time volunteering on Thanksgiving.
“We were newlyweds and so planting that foundation of serving others at a time when we could be really selfish was really important to us, so laying that foundation and having this opportunity through our church to serve others on thanksgiving was awesome for us,” Wollard said.
First Baptist Rogers has been preparing and delivering Thanksgiving meals for 20 years, totaling around 45,000 meals.
“Without fail every single year we have actually had more people call in for meals than we’ve actually been able to provide. Our commercial kitchen here at the church can only accommodate 2,400 hundred meals, so that’s what we try to do for year to year,” said Pastor Steve Ellis.
Pastor Steve Ellis says earlier this week Rogers Heritage High School students put together boxes for the meals to be delivered in and Wednesday (Nov. 24) volunteers cut and boxed pie. He says lots of hours of preparation go into this meal and they are grateful to everyone who gives their time and who has donated.
“The scripture tells us, it’s more of a blessing to give than to receive, so one it’s a way we can express our gratitude to God for his generous provision for all our needs and it’s a way that we can give back and that in itself is a huge blessing for us,” he said.
The meals are free, and no questions are asked to those who call to receive them.