Turkey dinners are guaranteed for hundreds of Lawrence and Douglas County residents, thanks to the organizing efforts of the Salvation Army and LINK.
Think it's tough to roast a turkey with all the trimmings for Thanksgiving?
Count your blessings that you only have to contend with one bird.
The Salvation Army cooked and carved up 13 turkeys for its Thanksgiving dinner today. Another dozen or so pre-cooked turkeys are in the kitchen at St. John the Evangelist Church, ready to be warmed and then shuttled to the Lawrence Interdenominational Nutrition Kitchen's Thanksgiving dinner.
LINK's dinner will be served at First Christian Church, 1000 Ky., from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Thursday.
Because of the predicted wintry weather Thursday, "we're going to have to be real fast," LINK organizer Pam Casagrande said.
As usual, residents of Lawrence and Douglas County were extremely generous with their contributions of food and time, Casagrande said.
"We're probably the only nonprofit organization with a budget of $5,000 and that feeds over 15,000 people," she said. "People are so generous."
LINK serves meals on alternating weekdays and Sundays throughout the year, as well as on holidays such as Thanksgiving.
Casagrande said she expects about 130 people at the Thanksgiving dinner and another 150 carryout meals.
This afternoon promised to be typically busy for Casagrande -- "gathering mashed potatoes and stuffing, making gravy and carvings turkeys, collecting pies and making table decorations," she said.
At the Salvation Army, about 50 families were "adopted" by Douglas County residents and organizations, who provided turkey and trimmings for a Thanksgiving dinner. About 450 applied for adoption, Capt. Violet Windham said.
The Salvation Army purchased 400 turkeys for food baskets, and 120 more were donated.
As of this morning, 400-plus food baskets had been given away, and "we still have people walking in with turkeys as the day goes by," church secretary Betsy Anderson said. "It seems if we give away five, another one comes in. Whatever we have left, we can use for Christmas."
The Salvation Army welcomed the many can drives conducted by area residents and food basket donations, Windham said.
To those who contributed, "I'd like to say thank you for your tremendous generosity, on donating cans and the adoptions," she said. "And to thank all the various groups that have brought in can drives."