‘It’s a work of God’: East Kentucky Dream Center hosts fourth annual free Thanksgiving meal

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News First at Four
Published: Nov. 18, 2022 at 6:42 PM EST
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Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News at 6

PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - On Friday, the East Kentucky Dream Center (EKDC) held its fourth annual free Thanksgiving meal for the community. Along with the usual turkey and dressing, the meal featured all the traditional Thanksgiving fixings but was all to help those who may otherwise not have the opportunity to enjoy the holiday tradition.

“Our ladies were in here at 4:30 this morning fixing and cooking, getting everything ready,” said EKDC Executive Director Rachell Campbell-Dotson. “So, we had everything with it, all the trimmings. Mashed potatoes, green beans, desserts.”

Campbell-Dotson added that this year’s meal was larger than years past, largely due to the recent flooding that rocked the region in late July.

“Our meal started at 11 and by 12:30 we’ve done more than 800 meals,” said Campbell-Dotson. “This is our fourth annual, so this is something that... we knew we would have high numbers this morning, but we didn’t expect the numbers that we have.”

UPIKE nursing student and volunteer Alexis Burchett said many of her own friends had been affected by the flooding and she is thankful that the EKDC is able to help those in need.

“That kind of broke my heart whenever that flooding did happen just because a bunch of my friends, they lost their homes, you know, all of that. So, it’s really important that we have organizations like this that can help,” said Burchett.

52 volunteers and several organizations helped provide and serve the more than 1,400 meals given out.

“It’s great to see the community come together really and just help each other out, help the less fortunate out,” said Burchett. “It’s great, you know? It’s a work of God, really.”

Campbell-Dotson also added that she would like to thank the volunteers and donors who made the meal possible.