Thanksgiving, Christmas events keep volunteers hopping - Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman: News

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SPIRIT OF GIVING Thanksgiving, Christmas events keep volunteers hopping

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Posted: Thursday, November 15, 2012 7:56 pm

MAT-SU — Tomorrow’s the big day; turkeys and all the fixings for everyone that needs them.

“This is a concerted effort with the interfaith community out there and our resources here to provide food for folks who otherwise might go without,” said Jim MacKenzie, director of development and communications for the Food Bank of Alaska.

He said the food bank and its partner churches have expanded this year Valley Thanksgiving Blessing to include two additional sites in Palmer and Big Lake. The complete list of places to pickup Thanksgiving Meals is:

• Faith Bible Fellowship in Big Lake on Hollywood Road

• Fellowship Lutheran Church in Trapper Creek

• Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Wasilla

• Real Life Church in Palmer

• Upper Susitna Senior Center in Talkeetna

• Willow United Methodist Church in Willow

Anyone who needs help with food for Thanksgiving may stop by a participating church from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Nov. 17.

As for volunteer opportunities, most everyone has enough volunteers as of now, but if folks wanted to call 745-5673 to help out in Palmer or 892-8545 to help in Big Lake there might still be room, MacKenzie said.

Speaking of volunteers, Valley’s Christmas Friendship Dinner, could use a few hands. They’ve been decking the halls of the Menard Sports Complex for three days but have all the help they need with that.

They will, however, need folks to help with a second round of decorating around Dec. 10 and then lots and lots of people to help with the actual Christmas-day event — cooking, cleaning up, dishing out food, running security. There’s also plenty to do on the days leading up to it and a need for clean-up crews afterward. The event draws thousands each year. To volunteer, call 354-6115.

But, to get back to the Thanksgiving Blessing, MacKenzie said that the Food Bank expects something on the order of 2,200 people to show up. But it could be a lot more than that.

“It’s tough out there. In September we had the wind and then there were floods. We’re not quite sure if it’s going to be even bigger,” MacKenzie said.

Contact reporter Andrew Wellner at andrew.wellner@frontiersman.com or 352-2270.

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Willow Farmers Market

Willow Farmers Market is open from 2 to 7 p.m., Fridays at Mile 68.5, Parks Highway, across from Newman’s Tesoro.

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