Unprecedented times call for unprecedented proceedings and that will be the case for the People Loving People Thanksgiving Dinner in Rogersville next Thursday at Joseph Rogers Primary School, located at 2101 East Main Street.
“With COVID-19 cases continuing to rise, as well as hospitalizations on the increase we have decided to add some procedures out of the abundance of caution for this year’s event,” said Dr. Blaine Jones, founder and organizer of the dinner which began 17 years ago.
Everyone volunteering at the event this year will be asked to wear at the minimum a face covering (mask or cloth covering).
It is suggested that if they have a face shield, protective or other type eyewear that this also be utilized. Social distancing will be required while performing work duties and volunteer efforts.
Anyone handling food will be required to wear gloves. Anyone who cannot follow these requests will be asked to leave the Joseph Rogers Primary School premises and not participate in this year’s event.
“We have decided to go a step further since the cases continue to rise and screen each volunteer with a COVID-19 questionnaire upon their arrival to perform their volunteer service. We are doing this for our neighbors, our friends, our co-workers and our families. We must all do our part to try and protect one another and we need to do it if nothing more but out of courtesy to our fellow man,” Jones said.
The questionnaire will ask basic questions regarding fever, COVID-19 symptoms and possible exposure. A contactless temperature screening will be taken as well. If any of the questionnaire boxes are checked or there is a temperature of 100.4 or higher, the individual will not be allowed to participate in the event.
“Obviously, if you have a temperature or symptoms, or have had them in the past 14 days, we will ask that you do not volunteer this year and seek medical help if you deem it necessary,” added Mark DeWitte, co-organizer. “It is unfortunate that it has come to this, but we have to take precautions as necessary.”
There will be some masks available, but volunteers are asked to wear/bring their own if possible. Gloves will be provided and there will be some hand sanitizing stations available to use.
Volunteers are still needed for the dinner in all areas. Wednesday, Nov. 25 will be the day that most of the food preparation is done. Volunteers will be needed to slice meats, plate desserts, fill cranberry sauce cups and much more. Box makers, meal packers and meal deliverers will be needed early and throughout the morning of Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 26. Anyone who would like to volunteer their services can call 423-754-7610 and let organizers know they are willing to help even if it is under these difficult circumstances.
It is not too late to request a meal be delivered to your home. Call 423-754-7610 to request meals to be delivered. Pickup orders will be available at Joseph Rogers Primary School on Thanksgiving Day as well. Donations are still needed to pay for this undertaking, and they can be mailed to the People Loving People Thanksgiving Dinner, P.O. Box 35, Rogersville, TN 37857.