One man’s legacy of charity lived on this year. Reverend Dr. Mozel Sanders has a Thanksgiving dinner in honor of his memory that feeds the down and out of the Indianapolis community. But how much longer can the Mozel Sanders Foundation continue to honor the principles of charity and good will that Mozel Sanders brought to the Circle City?
This year the Mozel Sanders Foundation Thanksgiving Dinner went off with out a hitch. As volunteers took over the cafeteria on the campus of Butler University on Indianapolis’ north side, hungry Hoosiers prepared for a bonafide Thanksgiving Day Feast. For the past 38 years, this free Thanksgiving Dinner has been in place in Indy to help Indianapolis people who are unable to cook their own meal celebrate the holiday. This year the attending crowd was bigger than ever.
Volunteers dished out 15,000 pounds of turkey, 10,000 pounds of dressing, 2,000 pounds of green beans, 40,000 dinner rolls, 1,000 gallons of gravy and 8,500 pounds of apple crisp for a grand total of more than 40,000 meals served to needy Hoosiers. This tradition runs like a well-oiled machine with hundreds of volunteers pitching in to bake, carve and serve the all important bird on Thanksgiving Day. Some volunteers have made the Mozel Sanders Thanksgiving Dinner the most important part of their own holiday tradition.
Eddie Jackson, who is a veteran of the gravy station at the Mozel Sanders Thanksgiving Dinner, explained, “There’s no secret, we just all work together and get it out. It’s about giving. That’s what it’s all about, giving and helping each other get this food out for the ones that need it.” Many more volunteers use this unique opportunity to teach Indianapolis kids important lessons about giving back to the community. Rose Milto brings her son Dominic every year, “Now that he’s old enough to really understand what goes into helping out others, I think it’s a good opportunity for him.”
This year’s Thanksgiving Dinner was a smashing success. Serving 40,000 meals yesterday, the Mozel Sanders Foundation experienced a 25 percent increase in attendance compared to last year. But the news is not all rosy. With the large increase of families in need and the unstable economy, the Mozel Sanders Foundation wound up $15,000 shy of their fundraising goal this year.
Cullen Simpson, Mozel Sanders chef explains the attitude of good will that the Mozel Sanders Foundation has inspite of the financial short coming, “I spoke with Reverend Sanders to see if he wanted me to cut back, and staying with his father’s dream that no one in Indy goes hungry on Thanksgiving, he said, ‘Go ahead and increase it and we’ll get the donations from somewhere.'”
The Sanders reasoning is simple, “It’s not just the feeding, but it’s the warmth of the fellowship, the camaraderie,” said Reverend Roosevelt Sanders, the son of the late Mozel Sanders. The foundation does a whole lot more than a free dinner on the north side of Indianapolis. Volunteers deliver food to central Indiana homes and 43 other locations that include churches and community centers. Their plan to feed Indianapolis on Thanksgiving is multi-faceted and always growing.
The hope is that Indianapolis people while counting their own good fortune this year, will remember the holiday traditions of the Mozel Sanders Foundation. Help this great Indianapolis non profit organization keep their traditions alive. For more information about how to help cover the cost of the successful Thanksgiving Dinner, visit the Mozel Sanders Foundation website.
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