I remember when I moved away from home for the first time and didn't know a single soul in the town where my new job was. While I loved my job, being alone on holidays while those around me celebrated with family really hurt my heart. And then the most beautiful thing happened. One of my new work friends told me about a community Thanksgiving dinner that he and his family went to each year and suggested I stop by to help serve food and then enjoy a meal afterward with the volunteers.

Being invited to be part of the Thanksgiving dinner when I was broke and all alone was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. I decided in that moment that I would do my best to reach out to those I know of who are alone and invite them to break bread with me and my family on the holidays when we're not traveling to our families. I know what it's like to be alone during the holidays, and it breaks my heart that there are people who sit alone, without company or a hot meal on holidays.

Maybe you're new to the area. Maybe you're a college student who can't go home for Thanksgiving. Maybe you're a resident, but don't have money to buy groceries for Thanksgiving. Maybe you're like my family and live several hours from any relatives. Whatever the reason, the YMCA of Broome County invites you to join their family for a free community Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday, November 12th from 2pm-3:30pm at the West Family Y at 740 Main Street in Johnson City. This free dinner is open to our entire community, not just members of the YMCA.

The YMCA community dinner is free to our entire community, not just those who are members of the YMCA. And, if you've got some extra time and want to give back to the world around us, the YMCA of Broome County is looking for people to volunteer for their Thanksgiving dinner. Interested? Reach out to Karen at 607-770-9622 ext.405.

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