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Community comes together for Thanksgiving at DSU

Giving back was a big part of Thanksgiving for the Dickinson community yesterday at Dickinson State's Thanksgiving dinner. The dinner itself was made possible by DSU staff, volunteers and donors who came together to serve about 1,250 people in DS...

Volunteer serves a community member at the Dickinson State University community dinner on Thanksgiving. Kayla Henson / The Dickinson Press
Volunteer serves a community member at the Dickinson State University community dinner on Thanksgiving. Kayla Henson / The Dickinson Press

Giving back was a big part of Thanksgiving for the Dickinson community yesterday at Dickinson State's Thanksgiving dinner. The dinner itself was made possible by DSU staff, volunteers and donors who came together to serve about 1,250 people in DSU's student center dining area.

Kids Academy daycare baked the cookies, and local elementary students made greeting cards to accompany the takeout meals and colored the placemats for the tables.

"The grandmas who don't have kids close by, they take them home and put them on their fridge," said Tammy Berndt, who has volunteered for the dinner every Thanksgiving for about 18 years.

Dickinson High School and Trinity High School home economics students made several of the pumpkin pies, as did women from St. Elizabeth's Women's Christian Group.

DSU staff member Cindy Nagle said the dinner allows them to help people in need, people who can't leave their home.

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"You don't want anybody to go hungry," she said. "Nobody should have to go hungry, especially in this time and age."

Some of those who came to eat helped their community as well.

Prior to eating at DSU, Jeff Harris, his granddaughter Hailey Hollis, and a friend from church helped deliver meals to the community.

"This is the second year that Hailey and I have done that," said Harris. "She really enjoyed it, and so did I."

This year, they decided to eat at DSU while his wife was at work.

After eating at DSU, a man from Hettinger County, who wished not to be identified, picked up meals for the two homeless families who live on his property.

He found them about a year ago in Boeman and has been letting them live in their vehicle on his family farm as long as they work and refrain from alcohol or drug use.

"I've been there before," he said. "I lived in my car for nearly six years. ... I work three jobs right now, so I know it's hard. I struggle myself."

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Janet Johanson helped organize the dinner. She said they get "people from all walks of life" at the dinner.

"Everybody has a story, everybody has a reason to be here," she said.

Related Topics: DICKINSON STATE UNIVERSITY
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