Branson organizations provide ways to get help and give help this Thanksgiving

Whether you're hoping to get help this holiday or wanting to give help, organizations in the Branson area are offering both assistance to those in need and volunteer opportunities.

"Food is one of the biggest stumbling blocks in our nation,"
Branson Salvation Army Captain Linda McCormick said.

The Salvation Army food pantry is open every Wednesday, but it's not only sacks of food being offered in Branson this holiday.

"Tomorrow is actually our 10th Annual Love Your Neighbors Thanksgiving Day dinner," Jesus Was Homeless Executive Director Bryan Stallings said.

Stallings says, this year, Jesus Was Homeless expects to feed even more people than last year, which probably means more than 800 people will sit down to a hot Thanksgiving Day dinner.

"We don't want anyone to spend thanksgiving alone," Stallings said.

However, these mssions that help no one go hungry, also need volunteers to help make that happen.

"Well, I think volunteering runs this country," Salvation Army Volunteer Pat Davis said.

Whether it's volunteering at the pantry, ringing Salvation Army bells, serving food, or even sitting down to dinner with a stranger there are chances for everyone to step up.

"We pair everybody up to be with somebody to have meal with, to share your story with. So if somebody wanted to volunteer at any point, they could just walk in for that and we would pair them up," Stallings said.

"It helps them to help other people and that's what we are commanded to do," Davis said.

"We always have to be mindful that as good as we have it, there are others, through maybe no fault of their own, who are struggling," McCormick said.

Free Thanksgiving Day meals:

Forsyth School Cafeteria - 12:00 p.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday

Lady of the Lake Catholic Church, Branson - Jesus Was Homeless - 5:30 p.m.

Volunteer opportunities:

Love Your Neighbors Thanksgiving Dinner - volunteer to serve or be a "table companion" - visit www.jesuswashomeless.org to register

Salvation Army - volunteer to ring bells, work in the pantry, or the thrift store - www.registertoring.com