Volunteers make annual dinner possible

CNJ Staff Photo: Gabriel Monte Amber Lease, left, and Kevin Lamere, right, spent Thursday afternoon cleaning up after a Thanksgiving meal at the Lighthouse Mission kitchen. Lamere said he wanted to do something different on Thanksgiving so he called up the mission to volunteer.

By Gabriel Monte: CNJ staff writer

Kevin Lamere, 27, said he was looking for something different to do on Thanksgiving Day.

So he spent Thursday afternoon cleaning up at the Lighthouse Mission kitchen where volunteers served Thanksgiving meals to more than 400 people, according to kitchen manager Susie Armijo.

Lamere and his friend Amber Lease, 28, wiped tables, chairs and swept the floor of the mission kitchen.

Lease said she is visiting Lamere in Clovis.

“Simply put, why not (volunteer)?,” she said.

The Lighthouse Mission has been providing Thanksgiving meals to the community for three years, Armijo said.

“A lot of people don’t have families, they’re alone. Some couldn’t afford to buy a meal. This made them have a Thanksgiving dinner they would not have had,” she said.

Armijo said people started lining up outside the mission door by 9:30 a.m., an hour and a half earlier than scheduled.

She said meals were served by 10:30 a.m.

“Nobody is asked questions. We feed the homeless, the hungry and the lonely,” she said.

Volunteers started preparing meals at 6 a.m., according to Armijo. The meals included 36 turkeys and 500 pumpkin pie slices.

“It was wonderful,” she said. “We had enough to feed 500 people.”

Other volunteers delivered meals to homebound residents, she said.

“Nobody volunteers to clean up,” she said.

Lamere said he found a volunteer opportunity through Wayland Baptist University, where he is a student.

“This is my first Thanksgiving doing this,” said Lamere. “I thought it would be a fun change, doing something different. This is totally cool.”