Airmen serve senior citizens meals on Thanksgiving

Local News

In 1969, the ‘Thanksgiving Day of Love’ was senior citizens in the Minot community a chance to celebrate the day with friends. Like many other things this year, the event was canceled due to the pandemic. that didn’t stop one group from keeping the tradition alive.

“We started thinking about this event in August, which is when I normally do that, and there was just so much up in the air at that time,” said Susan Wagers.

Every year, Susan Wagers plans the Thanksgiving Day of Love at the Minot Air Force Base. Last year, more than 200 senior citizens were shuttled to the base and served a traditional meal by men and women in uniform. But this year has been anything but normal.

“I had a lot of the airmen asking hey can we sign up for the day of love? Can we sign up? We want to volunteer. And I just felt so bad that here were these airmen that were willing to help out any way they could and our event was canceled,” said Wagers.

So instead of not doing anything at all, Wagers reached out to the Minot Commission on Aging to see if they needed a hand or two.

“Susan arranged to get about 30 volunteers down here today to help us deliver meals to the seniors,” said Roger Reich.

Over 600 hot ham and turkey meals were packaged and loaded up to be delivered right to the front doors of seniors. Two of the airmen from the group say this holiday season is all about giving back.

“With this pandemic going on, a lot of us can’t be around family members and it’s stressful for everybody. I think it’s important to let people know that there are others out there that care about everybody,” said Matthew Schaffer.

“It is important to get out here and help out any way we can just so they can have a warm home-cooked meal, and at least some interaction within the community as well,” said William Wood.

So although they weren’t able to do what has become an annual tradition, the men and women who serve each day still got a chance to serve up a little love this Thanksgiving.

And, it wasn’t just one meal. The seniors were given enough food to last them until the Meals on Wheels program picks back up after the holiday weekend.

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