Whiteaker Thanksgiving Dinner: 'We just wish we could do it more often'

EUGENE, Ore. - For 24 years people have been coming to the Whiteaker for the annual Community Dinner, hoping for a warm meal and a friendly face.

For some it's a family tradition. "We've come here for three years now and helped out the night before and then we come back the next day and eat," said Scott Camky.

For others it's a way to give back. "Just to be able to go home and say you helped out with other people in the community," said volunteer Kurtis Stewart.

The over 300 volunteers are helping people like Mark Davis; people who wouldn't have a place to go on Thanksgiving without the dinner.

"It's awesome, this is overwhelming really, all the generosity, they're giving people," said Davis.

Over 2,000 people came out to the Whiteaker Community Head Start on Thursday to pick up a bag of clothes and blankets, and eat a warm meal.

He said without the dinner, he's not sure what he'd do.

"I don't know, I don't know. cause like I said, I'm not from around here so I don't know."

Volunteer Toby Alves said she's been helping out on Thanksgiving for 15 years, and is touched by being able to give back to people who need it most.

"It's like a full day of opulence for people that just don't get this kind of treatment every day," said Alves. "And we just wish we could do it more often."

Organizers said without the help of all the volunteers and the prep work ahead of time, this dinner would never happen.

The Whiteaker Thanksgiving Dinner was held at the Whiteaker Community Head Start Center from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday.