Volunteers serve food, kindness during 39th annual Raul Jimenez Thanksgiving Dinner

SAN ANTONIO – Families across the country are sitting down at their tables and feasting on one of the most iconic meals, but for families who aren't as fortunate, San Antonio has a solution.

Volunteers at the Raul Jimenez Thanksgiving Dinner were all hands on deck Thursday, ready to serve those in need of a warm meal during the holiday.

Jennifer Ruiz is one of 4,000 volunteers and was even one of the first to walk in the door Thursday.

“Seeing these volunteers come every year, it’s just awesome,” she said. “(It’s) just a way to give back to the community. This is just one of the ways that caught my attention that I enjoy doing.”

This is Ruiz’s 18th year volunteering for the event.

“It's just a wonderful thing to see everybody. There are a lot of veterans, senior citizens, people down on their luck, those who might not have a chance to have a Thanksgiving meal at home, so they have an opportunity to come here,” she said.

Raul Jimenez III’s grandfather started the traditional dinner 39 years ago. Seeing it grow today is just a testament to the community.

“Everyone is just coming together for one purpose, to give. We call it the feast of the heart for a reason, and we are just blessed everyone came out to help,” Jimenez III said.

The meal was a chance for the San Antonio community to enjoy turkeys, greens, yams, stuffing and of course, dessert.

“We all wear the same hat here. We all give, and at the end of the day, count your blessings and be thankful,” Jimenez III said.

Ruiz said she has no plans on stopping anytime soon and has a message for anyone interested in becoming a volunteer.

“Just come on down. Once you get your foot in the door, you're going to love it. We will put you to work. You're going to want to come back every year,” she said.

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