Thanksgiving has been an American tradition ever since 1621, a holiday filled with turkey, family, and, most importantly, gratitude. For some folks who do not have significant plans for the day, however, Thanksgiving may not be filled with the warmth and camaraderie that is so often taken for granted at the dinner table. Because Thanksgiving is all about giving thanks, this year Radnor High School continued its tradition of hosting the annual Thanksgiving dinner to those part of the Wayne Senior Center and American Legion.
Radnor High School teacher Mrs. Civitella organized the dinner with the help of several student volunteers and parents. In preparation for the dinner, Life Skills Program leader Ms. Leo and her class constructed beautiful centerpieces for the tables while parents, teachers, and students eagerly donated various dishes and desserts. With the help of Food Service Coordinator Russell and his cafeteria staff, who were in charge of warming up the food donations, students were free to participate in various set-up activities, including folding utensil sets, assembling fruit baskets, or simply distributing cranberry sauce and cider to all of the tables.
A few students waited at the entrance of the high school to walk the guests to the cafeteria where the dinner was held. Other students had dinner with the guests at their tables to initiate meaningful conversations as volunteers served turkey, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, mac n cheese, and stuffing.
Accompanied by the live music and company of student volunteers, senior citizens and veterans formed interactive relationships with one another, creating a friendly atmosphere. To be able to provide such an experience for the elderly and people who have served for the country is quite an honor. “It was such a nice way to come together and learn about life from different people’s perspectives. It was a great way to do a little for people who have given so much,” says Katie Pelton, a Radnor High School junior who volunteered and had dinner with the Thanksgiving dinner guests. As a volunteer of the dinner, I can say for sure it was such a wonderful experience to be able to be generous at such an event, and I am sure that everyone else would agree. Thanksgiving may not always be about the pie or the mashed potatoes but more about being grateful for what you have and giving to those who may not always be able to have it themselves.