community thanksgiving

The dinner is held on Thanksgiving to provide for those who may not have the means to put a Thanksgiving dinner on the table and also for those who work in public service roles.

Thanksgiving is a time for families to come together and be thankful for what they have every day, but there are some in the community who may not have the means to put a family meal on the table.

That’s where local groups come in and join forces to make a difference.

Several churches have come together under a group they call “The Bridge.” The Bridge’s mission is to build bridges among the churches and into the community. It has been filling the void in Alexander City by sponsoring a community Thanksgiving dinner for the last nine years. 

“At one time or another we’ve all had struggles financially, but there is no reason why we can’t be there for one another in times of need,” River of Life pastor Michael Waldrop said. “All you need is someone who cares and someone who needs to be cared for.”

Waldrop understands how someone can struggle at times in their lives, being successful one year and wondering what to do the next.

“Last year you may have been the caregiver and this year you may be the one in need of a helping hand or vice versa,” Waldrop said. “I know that I personally have been in need of someone reaching out to me at times in my life. We simply want to pass along what others have done for us by caring for others when the opportunity arises.”

The Bridge has expanded the dinner to also honor those in public service who work on Thanksgiving Day. The group will also serve meals to those working in the police and fire departments, nursing home staffs, the Bill Nichols State Veterans Home staff and others.

Waldrop said these people are appreciated and deserve to have a good meal on Thanksgiving while they’re at work caring for those in need.

“How can we ever express enough gratitude for those who are on the front lines every day including holidays serving the people of our community?” Waldrop said. “Serving our public workers this Thanksgiving is just a small way of saying thank you for all you do.”

The meal will be served from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thanksgiving Day in the Benjamin Russell cafeteria. A traditional Thanksgiving meal will be served including turkey, ham, dressing, green beans, potatoes, bread, corn, cranberry sauce, desserts and beverages.

Organizers will accept help in the form of volunteers and donations. Those wanting to help are asked to email Waldrop at

Waldrop wants to encourage others to help with The Bridge’s efforts.

 “Together let’s look beyond ourselves and touch someone’s life this Thanksgiving,” he said.

Cliff Williams is a staff writer for Tallapoosa Publishers.