Thanksgiving is a time when so many communities come together to help those in need. Warrick County is no exception.
Boonville residents Mark and Lesa Mayer have been serving Thanksgiving dinner to families for 11 years. This year they say they expect to deliver hot, traditional Thanksgiving meals to more than 500 people.
It all started in 2001, after the Mayer family moved to Boonville. After serving as missionaries in Mexico, they knew what it felt like to be without family at the holidays.
"We realized, there are probably people in the area that spend Thanksgiving alone," Mark said.
"Kind of the reason we started it, are the elderly, sometimes they're all alone, their family's all gone," Lesa said.
Partnering and learning from the Christian Life Center in Evansville, the Mayer's fired up their kitchen stove and started making meals.
"I don't even know if we broke a hundred people, but we cooked everything on one, four top stove and it was an experience," Mark said.
Neighbors and friends cooked foods in their ovens and dropped off turkeys and supplies.
11 years later, the event has transformed from a small sit down dinner, to a delivery service reaching more than 500 people.
The shopping trip takes a lot of heavy lifting.
"Two or three people with carts and a big flat bed and we do...pile it on," Lesa said.
Organizing an overwhelming amount of donations is chaotic. But Lesa says one thing doesn't change.
"I usually have a moment of panic every single year," Lesa said.
Lesa said each year donations come through and they never have to turn down requests for meals. Leftover food and goods are all donated back to the community.
The Mayer family takes very little credit for such a big event.
"What gets me so excited is that it's truly a community event, people from the entire community come together to meet the needs of those who would go without," Lesa said.
Monetary donations can be made at Boonville National Bank, Guardian Asset Protection or mailed to Warrick County Awareness at P.O. Box 42, Chandler, Indiana 47610. Checks should be made out to The Community Thanksgiving Dinner.
Food donations can be dropped off at Boonville City Hall, Boonville National Bank, Guardian Asset Protection, MPC Hair Salon, D-Patrick Boonville Ford and Freedom Medical.
To volunteer, contact Megan Barnhill at 812-897-3033.