Sisters Tina Yeager, left, and Connie Killeen dish up meals at St. Stephen s United Church of Christ Thursday.
Sisters Tina Yeager, left, and Connie Killeen dish up meals at St. Stephen s United Church of Christ Thursday. (Bil Bowden photo)

It's doubtful that the average York County family cooked nine turkeys and peeled and mashed 150 pounds of potatoes for Thanksgiving.

It's also unlikely they diced 34 pounds of bread for filling or cooked 24 pounds of corn and another 24 pounds of green beans.

But one group of West York residents undertook that task as they hosted the elderly, the impoverished and those who were alone on the holiday at St. Stephen 's United Church of Christ in the borough.

"We didn't want people to be alone or go without a nice meal," said Jean Firestone, a member of the Thanksgiving Dinner Committee.

The committee is a loose affiliation of about 10 residents who wanted to make a difference on the day many pause to give thanks.

For the second year in a row, the committee organized the Thanksgiving feast, gathering more than 30 volunteers to help, and planned to serve about 50 people by the end of the dinner, Firestone said.

One volunteer also delivered food to those who couldn't leave their homes.

Leftovers: The first dinner hosted by the group was held at the West York Fire Station last year but moved to the 1569 W. Market St. church this year.

Members of the community donated food and cash. Six Isaac's employees gave their time to help serve up the dishes.

Work to cook the turkeys started early Thursday and required some thought to ensure everything went off without a hitch.

"We had to stage the (turkey) roasters so we didn't blow any fuses," Firestone said. "We had one guy who came specifically just to pick the turkey."

Leftovers were given to Access-York, which aids victims of domestic violence, and any remaining cash donations were given to St. Stephen's Bountiful Blessings, which provides help to families and senior citizens coping with financial hardship.

"We started without anything and we'll leave without anything, Firestone said.

Helping out: The Stump family of West Manchester Township served as greeters as people entered the church.

The family of three - Joe, his wife, Dana; and their 9-year-old son, Jack -said it was their first time doing volunteer work on Thanksgiving.

"We really didn't have any plans," Joe Stump said. "We felt it would be good to come out."

Jack, a member of Cub Pack 94 in West Manchester Township, also had a hand in making sure those who attended the dinner left with something extra.

The cub pack collected items for hygiene bags, and put the items in the bags, that were given out at the feast.

Lois Klinedinst of Dover Township was also giving up her Thanksgiving to volunteer for the first time.

"I thought it would be a good to do something for the community and to make others feel blessed," she said.

- Reach Greg Gross at ggross@yorkdispatch.com.