Community Thanksgiving Dinner 2020

For the past 35 years, The United Parish has been serving a Thanksgiving dinner in Willett Hall open to all. While some folks come because they do not have a place to go, and some come because they do not have friends or family nearby with whom to celebrate, everyone who joins our annual celebration comes to share a home cooked meal with others in a warm and welcoming space on Thanksgiving Day. Over the years, this United Parish tradition has come to include hundreds of volunteers and dozens of local companies and organizations that donate food. Most importantly, it has come to include all the individuals who come year after year from within and beyond our community to eat, share in fellowship and give thanks together. Last year, we had our busiest dinner yet, serving over 220 people and growing our community bigger and stronger. We were even featured on the local TV news!

This year, as we have come to understand all too well, we can’t do most things as we normally have. Our favorite activities, traditions, and plans are being rescheduled, canceled or modified and we are all doing our best to stay positive, flexible, and optimistic, especially at The United Parish. What remains unchanged though, is God’s love, our commitment to spread that love, and the strength of our beloved faith community.

So this year, we will still continue our Thanksgiving tradition, just in a different way. Our Thanksgiving dinner will be take-out this year. We will have turkey dinners available for pick up and delivery on Thursday, November 26th to anyone interested. If we can’t bring the Thanksgiving community into United parish this year, we will send a little bit of United parish out into the community along with our love and holy spirit.

It certainly won’t be the same, but we are working hard to make sure it is special, meaningful, and delicious. And in order to do so, we need some help. Help will also look different than it has in the past. We are asking, this year, for monetary donations instead of food donations in an effort to streamline and adhere to new protocols. We will be purchasing all of the food needed in bulk to help with ease of cooking and distributing, and to limit the number of hands on product.

We know the joy that shopping and donating food for this meal brings many of you, but we hope that given the circumstances, you may channel that joy towards a monetary donation as your contribution. A donation of $20 can fund three and a half Thanksgiving meals. Every little bit counts and a donation of any amount will be met with grateful hearts.

While we won’t be able to have many volunteers in the church with us as we prepare these meals Thanksgiving week, we will be looking for volunteers to deliver meals on Thanksgiving day and volunteers to make greeting cards and goodie bags to go with each meal. We have our thinking caps on for ways to make this meal personal, heartwarming, and welcoming. If you have ideas, suggestions, or questions about how you can get involved, we would love to hear from you. Please email us at thanksgiving@upbrookline.org. We will have more information for delivery volunteers in the coming weeks.

This Thanksgiving, our community will still grow and strengthen. We have a foundation filled with faith, love, and spirit and we continue to spread that, no matter what is happening in the world around us.