Local residents come together

By Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Writer

The smell of frying turkeys, mashed potatoes and gravy and all the traditional Thanksgiving fixings wafted through the air at the Memorial Building during the fifth annual community-wide Thanksgiving meal on Thursday.

An army of volunteers from the community and several local churches helped put the dinner together to provide a place for those in the community that may not have any where else to go, said Elvia Garcia, volunteer and organizer.

“There’s just a lot of people that need a place and need a meal,” Garcia said.

Portales resident Roy Valdez, 14, was busy volunteering his time at the community meal. His first year to volunteer, Valdez said that he had been busy peeling potatoes, delivering plates and hauling out the trash.

“It’s good, it helps people out,” Valdez said.

Former minister Kenneth Broad was volunteering his time to help deliver meals to many in the community who were unable to get out and travel to the Memorial Building. He shared the story of a family of eight children and there mother who lived in a trailer south of town. When he arrived at the home, he stated that the children were excited to be receiving the meal and one of the younger children commented “Yum yum, something to eat”, Broad recounted.

“Every home you go to is so appreciative and thankful,” Broad said. You are just happy you can share the love of the Lord.”

Lee Landry and husband Robert were just two of the many people that received a Thanksgiving meal delivered to their home on Thursday.

“It was utterly delicious,” Lee Landry said.

Landry said that she had attended the meal in the past at the Memorial Building but since her husband is unable to get out due to medical problems, it was nice to have it delivered.

“It made me feel very thankful for the whole bunch of people that were preparing the meal,” she said. “I feel that Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday.”

Portales residents Matt Hillsman and Webb Hutchens were also enjoying the meal and the group of friends.

“It’s a good time and good company,” Hutchens said.