Salvation Army serves thousands Thanksgiving dinner

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SAN DIEGO -- In the spirit of giving back, the Salvation Army hosted a free Thanksgiving dinner for nearly 2,000 San Diegans Thursday.

A line nearly a mile-long formed outside the San Diego Concourse hours before the doors opened. Inside, each guest was greeted by a volunteer and ushered to their seats.

“They have done such a good job, I am so blown away – this is just wonderful,” said Kelli Young, a San Diego resident.

For Joseph Young and his wife, the experience felt like date night, but also their only shot at having Thanksgiving dinner this year.

“It’s a little more than difficult. You have to make a choice between bills and other essentials so this fit the bill,” said Young.

Among the volunteers, Mayor Kevin Faulconer and his family pitched in to lend a helping hand.

“All of us I think are so fortunate and today is an extra day to sit back and reflect on family, family we have, family that is no longer with us and a chance to come together as San Diegans to give people just a little extra help today,” said Mayor Faulconer.

Around the room, family was the central theme.

Volunteer Betty Lou brought her family out to help and to learn the importance of giving back and giving thanks.

“I’m thankful for so many things -- family, a place to have Thanksgiving tomorrow,” said Lou.

For the nearly 2,000 less fortunate, the Salvation Army rolled out excellent service, entertainment and the classics including turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans and gravy.

“They know what they’re doing as far as Thanksgiving and fellowship and making people feel welcome,” said Young.