DENVER (KDVR) — The Salvation Army and volunteers from various organizations aren’t letting the COVID-19 virus dissuade them from giving back on Thanksgiving. To them, the holiday is much more than eating good food— it’s about fulfilling acts of generosity.
Cooks were hard at work early on Thanksgiving preparing meals.
“This year the Salvation Army, instead of doing a group meal at the convention center, is doing individual home deliveries to shelters, senior centers [and] some folks on the street as well,” said Salvation Army Maj. Richard Pease.
Two thousand eight hundred meals were prepared and delivered this year. That’s up from 1,500 meals last year in Denver. At a Downtown Denver hotel— serving as a city-contracted emergency shelter— Salvation Army clients received meals around lunchtime.
“When [the pandemic] first started, it was creepy almost,” said a client, named Michael, who is suffering from homelessness. “It was a ghost town out here for a while.”
Michael has been at the hotel shelter for about half a year. His location is one of six Salvation Army-operated hotels in Denver serving COVID-negative people who need housing. One of the army’s Denver locations serves as a quarantine center for those suffering from the virus.
“It’s a weird time right now in the world,” said site leader Andrew Gettys. “It’s pretty stressful.”
On Thursday, the turkey, all the fixings, and the pie were delivered room by room.
“We do pass the meals out one-by-one to each door to keep the clients separated,” Gettys said.
Michael said the shelter and meal effort have been a godsend. Volunteers from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints partnered on the mission to show compassion.
“I think, especially during this Thanksgiving season, it’s always important to show gratitude,” said Elder Damen James with the church.
Those living at the downtown emergency shelter since late spring and early summer are most at risk during the pandemic due to age and/or pre-existing health conditions. The hotel, closed to the public, has been their refuge in these uncertain times.
“This will be the first Thanksgiving meal I’ve had in three years of being in Denver,” Michael explained.
For more information on the Salvation Army in Denver, click here.