Thanksgiving is a rough holiday to be reminded that maybe life isn’t coming together like one hoped.
But there are groups in Juneau there to give a helping hand to those who need it.
“The Thanksgiving meal has been going on for years now,” said Gina Halverson, a Salvation Army officer with the Juneau branch. “It’s down at the Hangar.”
Halverson and her husband are the officers for the Salvation Army in Juneau, which has had the Thanksgiving meal at the Hangar for more than 20 years now.
“I know it’s been over 21 years at the Hangar,” Halverson said in a phone interview. “It used to be at the Salvation Army building.”
Dick Hand with Alaska Seafoods will smoke all the turkeys himself, Halverson said, and the mayor usually comes to the meal. The Hangar also donates food, and Holland America Line and Princess Cruises jointly donated $1,500 to the holiday meal. The meal will run from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving, Halverson said, and they usually serve more than 500 plates of food.
“We’d love for anybody to come,” Halverson said. “It’s a beautiful location, a beautiful environment, and a lot of people come to enjoy the fellowship.”
They’re not the only game in town, though. Glory Hall, Juneau’s homeless shelter and soup kitchen, will also be making food starting around noon.
“Usually we thrown a few turkeys in the oven and we get something going,” said Butch Kahklen, a shelter advocate for the Glory Hall. “We get a lot of donations. We’ll be serving food pretty much all day.”
Glory Hall will be serving food and showing movies for its clients through Thanksgiving, Kahklen said.
There’s also some organizations reaching out to those at home.
“We’ll do about 200 dinner baskets,” said Bradley Perkins, the general manager of the St. Vincent de Paul Society in Juneau. “We’ve already taken all the sign-ups. Either they have signed up to pick up their basket here or they give us the address.”
The baskets include turkey and the ingredients for a proper Thanksgiving dinner, including yams, stuffing, potatoes, vegetables, cranberry sauce.
All three organizations are still accepting donations for the Thanksgiving meal. The Salvation Army mentioned that it still needs more turkeys and pumpkin pie filling.