More Than 200 Community Members Share Thanksgiving at Roseville Community Chapel

BROOKVILLE, Pa. (EYT) – More than 200 members of the community came together and became each other’s family this past Thanksgiving and share the holiday meal.

It was the 11th time the Roseville Independent Chapel provided a place for those who may not have family near.

The tradition was started by Harold Swartz who often thought about those who didn’t have family to be with during this traditional family time. He attended the first two dinners before he passed away.; his wife, Lee Ann, now carries on the tradition.

She says they serve the dinner at small tables rather than setting the room with long, banquet-style tables to preserve the family feel.

“Sometimes a whole family will come,” she notes. “We can relax and not worry about cooking or doing the dishes.”

Lee Ann says each year produces a special story. You can hear the happiness in her voice as she recounts the one from this year. She doesn’t share the woman’s name but does share her story.

The woman’s father had passed away this year and she had also lost other family members. Her children were spending the holiday elsewhere and she approached her pastor asking about somewhere she might be able to help out for the day. The pastor referred her to Lee Ann.

“She contacted me,” Lee Ann recounts. “She was the loveliest person. She spent the whole day with us and just really connected with my family.”

“It was just a really neat thing that she wanted to help us rather than sit at home and feel sorry for herself which she could have done.”

The dinner is free with all of the food being donated, the turkeys come from an anonymous donor each year. However, at the end of the day, those who participated contributed more than $1,300. That money will go to the church.

“We have a building fund,” says Lee Ann. “We’re going to build a sanctuary. All that money will go toward that fund.”


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