Medford Gospel Mission hosts 58th annual Thanksgiving dinner

Medford, Ore.- Tender turkey, savory stuffing and pumpkin pie were just some of the offerings at the 58th annual Thanksgiving dinner at the Medford Gospel Mission Thursday.

“Looks like we have turkey and ham both. Wow! We are living it up,” Leona Ballard, participant said.

More than 15 volunteers spent their day putting others first.

“To make people feel welcomed, to make people feel special, and wanted,” executive director Jason Bull said.

The mission serves free meals to people in the valley everyday but Bull says Thanksgiving is extra special.

“A lot of smiles,” he said “People just like to be around people on Thanksgiving.”

Ballard was one of the hundreds of people who received a hot meal. She’s been coming to the mission for the past five years.

“Maybe longer than that for Thanksgiving,” she said

She says it’s not just the food that keeps her coming back.

“We have gained a lot of friends here and they’re all so nice to everybody,” Ballard said.

She says she hopes to keep the tradition going for many more Thanksgivings to come.

“As long as I’m kicking,” she said.

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