Kokomo tornado survivors share Thanksgiving meal

Volunteers serve 2,000 holiday dinners

KOKOMO, Ind. - As Kokomo residents recover after tornadoes devastated their community, they still sat down together to share a Thanksgiving meal.

Volunteers prepared Thanksgiving dinner to be served Wednesday evening to more than 2,000 people throughout 15 different locations.

"It's such a blessing that our church and parsonage are still here and that we can serve people Thanksgiving dinner," volunteer Angie Sparks said.

Kokomo Urban Outreach has partnered with churches, missions and civic clubs to prepare the holiday meal less than two weeks after tornadoes ripped apart entire neighborhoods, businesses and people were left without homes or jobs.

"This year's been really tough on Kokomo. We had floods and now tornados and with all of that, there's been no loss of life. What a tremendous Thanksgiving this has been for our community," Deanna Ancil with Kokomo Urban Outreach said.

Thousands of volunteers have helped clean debris from neighborhoods, serve meals and raise money for disaster relief.

"When this happens, we all come together. No one's at the door asking if you're Democrat or Republican, straight or gay, Baptist or whatever. It's people in need and it's just people, and so you go in and do the best you can," Jeff Newton with Kokomo Urban Outreach said.

Organizers said people have come from different states to volunteer -- citing being in a position to help others as a reason to give thanks.

Officials with the Red Cross said their shelters are closed because most of the displaced victims are staying with friends or family.

Kokomo’s missions also expect to serve 1,000 meals on Thanksgiving Day for the city’s homeless and poor.

Follow Chris Proffitt on Twitter: @chrisproffitt

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