For many, Thanksgiving Day is a time of reflection on the blessings in their lives. It's shared with friends and family around a table, often over turkey and stuffing. But for some, it's just another day struggling to make ends meet, scrounging for a meal in the cold November air. This year, as they have for the past 20 years, the Salvation Army of El Paso County made finding that meal a little easier.
"That's the purpose here, to demonstrate the love of God on a day when we have so much to be thankful for," says Walt Wilkinson, a soldier in the Salvation Army, at the Manitou Springs location.
With a total of six locations, in and around Colorado Springs, the charitable organization was ready to feed up to 5,000 people Thursday. It took an army of volunteers, from the soldiers at Fort Carson who cooked more than 250 turkeys, to the several members of the American Culinary Federation who helped serve them, to make Thursday's event a success.
"The atmosphere today has been one of hope and excitement and a community coming together," says Rose Mertz, Director of Development for the El Paso County Salvation Army.
By the end of the day, thousands of people walked away from the Salvation Army dinners with a full stomach, and hopefully a lighter spirit.