Oak Creek Salvation Army provides Thanksgiving meals for those in need

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OAK CREEK, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The Salvation Army hopes to make the holidays a little brighter for those struggling this season.

TJ Anguiano is the community relations manager for the Salvation Army in Oak Creek. He said it's been a tough time for folks in the community. They were not able to have the annual Thanksgiving meal last year.

"COVID-19 was so hard for so many families in the community, so when we have this Thanksgiving meal, it just brings back a sense of normalcy," said Anguiano.

Wednesday night, about 150 seniors will come to the Oak Creek location for a sit-down Thanksgiving meal. For many, this will be their only celebration.

"Many of the people that come and get a meal are lonely seniors. So this is their only Thanksgiving they will have. They will have a meal and sit down and eat. They will also take a meal to go. It's very impactful and kind of emotional. It can be overwhelming," explained Anguiano.

Anguiano's daughters join him each year to help prepare the meals. They say it's become a family tradition.

"It's really special to me. I've been doing it since I can remember and it's just part of who we are," said Juliana Anguiano.

Anguiano and other volunteers prepared corn, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, stuffing, turkey and desserts.

In addition, several Salvation Army locations throughout the Milwaukee area will be hosting Thanksgiving meals on Nov. 24 and 25. Those locations are:

  • The Salvation Army of Milwaukee County’s Oak Creek Corps: Hosting Thanksgiving dinner for local senior citizens residing at Booth Manor from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov 24. This year, the meal will be prepared by local restaurateur and Salvation Army community partner, Charlie DeWitt, owner/operator of Jim Dandy's Pub & Grill. About 250 people are expected. 8853 S Howell Ave, Oak Creek, WI 53154.
  • The Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center: The Marquette University basketball team will be preparing and serving a Thanksgiving meal for the men (and their families) staying at the rehabilitation center at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 25. About 100 people are expected. 324 N Jackson St, Milwaukee, WI 53202.
  • The Salvation Army of Waukesha: Will be distributing to-go meals from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 25. 445 Madison St, Waukesha, WI 53188.
  • The Salvation Army of Milwaukee County’s Citadel Corps: Will be distributing to-go meals for the community from noon to 2 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 25. 4129 W Villard Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53209.

Anguiano says donations are down from last year and he hopes folks will donate online to make the holidays special for so many families.

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