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Dallas Organization Invites Families To Share The Thanksgiving Meal With Homeless Friends


A center for homeless men and women in Dallas is hosting a Thanksgiving event that emphasizes dignity. Instead of volunteers serving the homeless on a buffet line, they all sit together and share a meal.

This yearly tradition draws well over 1,000 people.

Wayne Walker is a pastor and executive director of the Dallas homeless ministry OurCalling. The Thanksgiving meal it hosts has been a tradition for almost a decade now — a tradition that emphasizes respect and community.

"We kind of moved away from wearing the plastic gloves and the apron and just tossing food on a plate and handing it to someone," Walker said. "This is really a family experience. So your family seated at a table with homeless friends having a family meal together."

Walker says it's important for homeless men and women to enjoy fellowship around the table. It's not just about the food, it's arguing over the Dallas Cowboys and watching the parade. He hopes people volunteering keep that in mind after the Thanksgiving meal is cleared away.

"It's easy and convenient to take that day to go serve, but consider ways that you can serve and be involved with the homeless community the other 364 days of the year," Walker said.

OurCalling runs an outreach center that includes a church as well as hot meals, showers, laundry and addiction recovery classes.

Courtney Collins has been working as a broadcast journalist since graduating from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in 2004. Before coming to KERA in 2011, Courtney worked as a reporter for NPR member station WAMU in Washington D.C. While there she covered daily news and reported for the station’s weekly news magazine, Metro Connection.