The First Thanksgiving: Making traditions of our own at Compass at First Presbyterian

By Robert Taylor, Program Coordinator 

Whew! Gotta love the after-holiday catch up! Back at my desk at Compass at First Presbyterian, I am realizing how grateful I am to the community for all the positive energy and generous outreach over Thanksgiving.

The holidays can be a tough time in the shelter community. As you can imagine, people miss their families and the memories of a life past can create feelings of nostalgia. Therefore, I find that there is some importance in having large of amounts of good food. And I think we had that in spades! Among the staff, our hope was to make it a very special day for our guests, a day where they weren’t thinking about the challenging issues in their lives. Our goal was for them to be there, at ease and able to relax. We wanted them to have a good time and the atmosphere of joy among the staff made the day complete.

Everyone loved the celebration of food and cheer here at Compass at First Presbyterian! The day started with a brunch. Generous volunteers from the Royalty Panthers Social Club arrived to serve at around 11 a.m. They provided full sack lunch meals filled with sandwiches, fruit, chips, drinks and more.

Several members from the Royalty Panthers Social Club gathered in the kitchen to make ham and turkey sandwiches. We love our community and volunteers!

We followed up with a genuine traditional thanksgiving meal provided by Operation Sack Lunch. It was a feast, but it may have been the enormous assortment of pies that blew us all away—all told, there were more than 20!

Then the food comas set in. Everyone was mellow and things got rather quiet very quickly. In step with Thanksgiving tradition, we had football on TV, followed by a night of movies in the dining area.

Looking back on our first Thanksgiving holiday at Compass at First Presbyterian, our own tradition is just getting started. With so many pies to consider, I look forward to the next!