The 30th annual Community Thanksgiving Feast at Howard Payne University will once again usher in the holiday season for area residents. It is scheduled for Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 28, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the HPU Mabee University Center.
The tradition has been supported throughout the years by numerous individuals and organizations. Last year, more than 2,000 meals were served on campus and through the home delivery program.
“When I awoke to a brisk fall morning a few days ago, I knew we would soon be celebrating Thanksgiving with friends at Howard Payne,” said Bill Fishback, assistant vice president for business and human resources at HPU. “This community-wide effort of neighbors caring for neighbors seems to be as important to those who serve as it is to those who enjoy the meal each year. Volunteers, including entire families, will help serve meals at the Mabee Center or deliver meals in Brownwood and Early to those who cannot join us on campus. Another heartwarming aspect of the day is being able to provide the meals to everyone at no cost because of the donations from the caring people and organizations in this community.”
The staff of HPU’s Sodexo Food Service prepares the meals. Anyone unable to join friends and neighbors at the Mabee Center can have meals delivered to his or her home by calling the Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce at (325) 646-9535.
“The most difficult part of coordinating the event is finding enough jobs for all of the people who want to help, but that’s a great problem to have,” said Fishback. “Many of the volunteers have helped for years, making serving others part of their annual Thanksgiving tradition.
“Because we were blessed with generous donations last year, we have some money left in the account to get us started on this year’s meal and, since the community always comes through, I am never concerned about paying the bills,” he said.
The traditional Thanksgiving meal will consist of turkey, dressing and all the trimmings.
“Last year, we served 788 meals at the Mabee Center and volunteers delivered 1,218 meals to our friends in the area,” Fishback said. “The volunteers enjoy visiting with each other and our guests as they work to serve the meals as quickly as possible. We are so blessed to live in a community where so many people willingly give their time and money to support this wonderful event. We look forward to being part of another joy-filled Thanksgiving Day as we also give thanks to the Lord for blessing us in so many ways.”
According to Fishback, volunteers do not need to call to let the university know they are coming.
“They simply need to show up at the Mabee Center at 10:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day and we will put them to work,” he said.
If you would like to help support the Thanksgiving meal, please make checks payable to the “Community Thanksgiving Feast,” and send them to Bill Fishback at Howard Payne University, 1000 Fisk Street, Suite 210, Brownwood, TX, 76801.
HPU’s Mabee University Center is located at 1219 Fisk Street in Brownwood, directly behind the Office of Admission.
Pictured above are volunteers serving at a previous Community Thanksgiving Feast.