You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Thu, Nov 22, 2012 : 5:06 p.m.

Vineyard Church serves nearly 150 people traditional Thanksgiving dinner

By Katrease Stafford

The Vineyard Church in Ann Arbor held its seventh annual dinner and organizers said about 150 people were expected to show up.

Between 75 and 100 people volunteered their Thanksgiving Day to serve the homeless and individuals who came looking for a meal. The church, located at 2275 Platt Road, served a traditional Thanksgiving meal with turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie and more.

"Every year I get dozens of emails from people that hear about it and that want to serve," said organizer Lisa Aunins.

This year, a good number of the volunteers were families and children, which livened the mood.

"A lot of it is the kids are running around playing," Aunins said. "I had a couple guys come up and say how great it was to have the kids running around because it makes it more like a home family meal. It's like they’re actually at a home rather than a facility. Our goal is to make it one big happy family setting."

Maille Humphries, 8, was one of the children who volunteered her Thanksgiving Day to help others.

"It's fun to come and help out," Humphries said.

Humphries said the dinner served as her family dinner since her entire family came to help out.

Aunins said a local State Farm agent donated 31 turkeys and the rest of the food came from other donations and purchases made by the church. Altogether, the dinner cost nearly $1,000.

"People baked pies and deserts and we have shifts where people come in and serve," Aunins said.

The church used its own van and rented another to shuttle people back and forth between the parking lot behind Liberty Plaza and the church.

Any leftover food will be distributed at Liberty Plaza tomorrow when the church does it's Friday Ministry work, Aunins said.

Although it's Thanksgiving, Aunins said it's important to know the need extends beyond the holidays.

"This kind of need goes year round," she said.

To Aunins, this event is very important and vital to the community.

"It's a way to give back to the homeless," she said. "The first year I did this, it was hard because I couldn't spend it with my family, but then I realized I am with my family. They become a second family. To see the happy faces, it's worth it."

Katrease Stafford covers Ypsilanti for her at or 734-623-2548 and follow her on twitter.



Fri, Nov 23, 2012 : 3:26 p.m.

God Bless you, Vineyard!!


Fri, Nov 23, 2012 : 12:17 p.m.

Thank you, Vineyard. We are grateful for your presence and service at Thanksgiving, as well as throughout the year. You make our area a better place.


Fri, Nov 23, 2012 : 1:25 a.m.

please correct the spelling of one of the volunteers name; it is Sherry Cross (not Cherry). Thanks!!

Katrease Stafford

Fri, Nov 23, 2012 : 5:50 p.m.

We have corrected the caption. Thanks, umichgirl.