OZARK, Ala. (WDHN) — Ozark Baptist Church, along with 16 other churches throughout Dale County partnered together to host a community Thanksgiving dinner for the first time.

“We wanted to make it an event that we worked together to take care of the people that take care of us year-round,” Facilitator for Ozark Baptist Church Phil Sims said.

The community dinner was located at the Ozark Civic Center, and 27 volunteers arrived Wednesday night to set up for the event, while the remaining volunteers arrived the following morning to prepare 1,000 plates for people in the community,

They made meals for people in need, people working on Thanksgiving, and the volunteers also got to enjoy a meal, along with some fellowship.

As the 17 churches served meals, they all had the same goal in mind.

“To help the homeless, hungry, and the community-at-large,” Pastor of Greater Sardis Missionary Baptist Church Stephen Hudson said.

Church members and community members who took out time to volunteer were from different walks of life.

A variety of ages came together to show their love and support for one another.

“I am so excited we are involved in this,” Pastor of Ozark’s First United Methodist Church Jason Thrower said. “This is a great day for Ozark and a great day for our community. You see all the volunteers that we have working together feeding people who are in need.”

The hope for this event is that it starts a chain reaction in the city of Ozark and that in the future, they will have more volunteers, more meals, and will be able to serve more people.

“I could go down a long list, and you don’t have the time, but I am thankful every day, and it’s a blessing,” Hudson said.

“There is so much to be thankful for,” Thrower said. “How long do you have?”

“I’m thankful for God,” Sims said. “I’m thankful for our country, and I’m thankful for Ozark.”

Sims tells WDHN that the group of volunteers want their neighbors to know that they care about them.