Whiteaker Community Dinners
Our mission is to provide food, goods, and services to individuals and families in need.
WCD has been a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization since 1996. Volunteers run our entire operation. No one is paid. All donations go toward the dinner and toward much needed items for our guests.
The WCD Slogan is “Neighbors Helping Neighbors.” At the first dinner back in 1978 a special spirit of neighborly sharing emerged and that same spirit guides us today. No lines exist between the haves and have-nots. Children, the elderly, and everyone in between, both guests and volunteers, have a rollicking good time and leave with a renewed sense of the warmth and joy that a community can generate.
The Whiteaker Free Thanksgiving Dinner has grown by leaps and bounds. The need for this dinner and more like it has increased dramatically. This year we plan to serve 2000 to 2500 people a delicious meal.
The chefs and volunteer cooks who roast the turkeys, mash the potatoes, cut the vegetables, and bake the pies come from various community programs including the Lane Community College Culinary Arts and Hospitality Programs and Martin Luther King Jr. Culinary Arts Youth Service program. Many individual community chefs and cooks and local churches also help prepare the food. Local businesses and organizations donate literal tons of food.
People at the dinner enjoy much more than a free meal. They can pick up warm used clothes and new socks, gloves, blankets and sleeping bags at no cost. These items come from individuals, families, organizations and businesses and provide a huge boost to people’s self esteem. Children of all ages enjoy special activities such as arts and crafts and face painting. Talented and generous musicians spend the day sharing songs and music, and help to make the day a festive celebration for everyone.
In recent years the event has gone green. Reducing, reusing, and recycling are priorities. At the last dinner, more than 85% of the waste was diverted away from the landfill.
This is truly an event put on by the community for the community. Neighbors Helping Neighbors.