Salvation Army Goes Big for Christmas Dinner


SPRINGFIELD — Due to a lack of space in years past, the Salvation Army changed its venue this year for Christmas Dinner.

Gail Thebeau is the Head Cook at Salvation Army. She and her crew are busier than usual this Christmas. 

“We have had a lot more people sign up for assistance this year across the board,” Thebeau says. “This year, we were just hoping to accommodate more people. We have a bigger kitchen and a bigger dining room as you saw. We have a lot more room for our volunteers to walk around and help serve those 200 people we are trying to feed today.” 

Tonia Collins with the Salvation Army says thanks to the a venue change to the main location on West Chestnut, the volunteers should have an easier time taking care of their guests. 

“It was very crowded at our other location. So here, we have a lot more space to move around and we can make it a little bit more homey feeling,” Collins explains. 

One of the guests is Michelle Thomas, whose house recently burned down. She is currently living with a family member. She knows the restrictions that Salvation Army faced with the smaller Harbor House location. 

“I’ve been in the Harbor House so I know the space they have compared to this, So this is awesome, it is really nice. A good Christmas dinner,” Thomas says.  

Despite the cold temperatures outside, there was still plenty of warmth and comfort to be found inside on Christmas Day. 

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