There are many reasons to be thankful this holiday weekend, but at the Friendship Inn on Thanksgiving Monday, everyone was thankful for each other.
Claire and Garth Ewert-Fisher usually host a family dinner each Thanksgiving as their children come home for the holidays. This year, with no dinner to host, the couple couldn’t think of a better way to spend the day by offering a helping hand.
“We have a sense that if we’re going to be thankful, part of that is generosity of our time, and energy and love to share with others,” Claire said of her reason for volunteering Monday.
The Friendship Inn serves up to 1,000 meals per day. On Thanksgiving, that number jumps up to anywhere from 1,300 to 1,500 as the food line wraps around most of the building during the four-hour feast.
Even with the hustle and bustle as hundreds rush in and out, Claire said spirits couldn’t be better.
“One of the things that impresses me most is that when you get in here and you see that there is a community here,” Claire said. “They’re sharing parts of their meals with each other, offering a chair and just being conversational.”
The couple has volunteered at the community centre before, but are inspired to volunteer and help out more after the experience they had on Monday.
“We’re incredibly privileged,” Garth said. “It’s awesome to be able to give something back.”
While the couple are thankful for each new day, Garth joked that he’s thankful his home sold after being for sale for six months.
Claire had a slightly different response.
“That there are places where I can plug-in where it’s meaningful, where it actually makes the world a better place,” she said.
“And that I’m grateful for — hugely.”