BELGRADE, Mont. - Some people are using Thanksgiving day as an opportunity to give back to the community. At the River Rock Community Center in Belgrade Wednesday night, folks were busing preparing for a big Thanksgiving meal.
Emily Howard is an outreach coordinator with Christian City Church. She tells NBC Montana they are working hard to feed hundreds of people. We watched as the Community Center went from bare and empty to warm and inviting.
"There is usually about 200 people that come and this year we are expecting it to be a little bigger this year because Manhattan is not doing it this year," said Howard.
Howard says the dinner will include all of the traditional items you would see at your Thanksgiving table.
"We're going to be serving everything, just all the fixings, turkey, stuffing, green beans, corn, everything," said Howard.
Volunteers of all ages helped out in any way they could, like 11-year-old Catherine Pierce.
"I got called 'Tapester' because I was helping with the tape. You are here, you are just doing little jobs but it makes a huge difference," said Pierce.
Organizers say prep work is expected to continue late Wednesday night, and they will be back at the Community Center early Thursday morning.
"Doors open at 1 p.m. and serving is from 1 to 2 p.m. and we are not going to by any means close the door at 2 p.m. if there are still people here," said Howard.
We are told there will be plenty of food to go around.
"Dan at Lee & Dad's is actually cooking all of the turkeys, so we did not have to do that, it has been a huge blessing," said Howard.
Lee & Dad's chipped in nine turkeys, just one of many donations to make sure anyone who doesn't have a place to go on Thanksgiving can come enjoy this community meal.
"Nobody will be alone on Thanksgiving, that is my whole vision behind it," said Howard.
Volunteers like Pierce tell us that is what Thanksgiving is all about.
"Giving thanks, being with your family, and eating," said Pierce.