The York County Gospel Choir couldn't wait until November, so the group will have Thanksgiving next month.
The 25-member choir is planning to hold Thanksgiving in August to serve free meals to individuals and families in need.
The event is 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11, at the Red Lion Community Building, 219 Fairview St. in Red Lion.
"This is our first time," said Cheryl Tyler, the choir's spokeswoman. "It probably will be our annual (event). We just want to help people."
The choir needs donations and volunteers to help with the Thanksgiving in August dinner day.
Needed are donations of turkeys, potatoes, vegetables, desserts and other food items associated with a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, Tyler said.
Uncooked items should be donated by July 31. Cooked dishes should be brought to the Red Lion Community Building by 9:30 a.m. on dinner day, she said.
Volunteers are needed to set up, serve, greet attendees and clean up. They, too, should arrive by 9:30 a.m. on Aug. 11, Tyler said.
"When people arrive, we want to greet them and walk them to their seats like they're at an exclusive restaurant, to make them feel special," she said.
More than singing: The York County Gospel Choir's ministry involves more than singing, as the group goes on mission trips around the country to help people in need.
During the trips, the choir talks and prays with people living in shelters, and donates items families need, Tyler said.
After its ministry trip to Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio, the choir was inspired to do more mission work for York County residents, she said.
The choir decided to hold a Thanksgiving-type dinner because of the family get-together theme that goes along with that holiday, Tyler said.
The choir especially wants to feed families staying in shelters to give them an opportunity to eat together. Families often must split up to stay in shelter programs that require men to live separately from women and children, she said.
There also are families that are going through rough times and just need to be encouraged, Tyler said.
"We just want people who come to the dinner to understand that we love them and that God loves them and they're not alone," she said. "When they step through the door for this dinner, we want them to know that this is their day."
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Help make Thanksgiving in August a reality
The York County Gospel Choir's free Thanksgiving in August dinner for people in need is from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11, at the Red Lion Community Building, 219 Fairview St. in Red Lion.
The choir seeks donations of turkeys, potatoes, vegetables, desserts and other food items associated with a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.
The deadline for donating uncooked and nonperishable food is July 31. Cooked dishes should be brought to the Red Lion Community Building at 9:30 a.m. on dinner day.
Volunteers are needed to set up, serve, greet attendees and clean up. They, too, should arrive by 9:30 a.m.
To donate or volunteer, call Cheryl Tyler at 417-5192 or at 659-7288.