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Thanksgiving with Friends in Honesdale

HONESDALE, Pa. — A Thanksgiving tradition in Honesdale turned 40 on Thursday. The Thanksgiving Together Community Dinner fed dozens who showed up at a dow...

HONESDALE, Pa. -- A Thanksgiving tradition in Honesdale turned 40 on Thursday.

The Thanksgiving Together Community Dinner fed dozens who showed up at a downtown church.

“God is smiling today. I may do this and become hot and sweaty and a big mess in the kitchen. But the people care,” Laura Dyser of Honesdale said.

People at the Grace Episcopal Church in Honesdale do care about Laura Dyser’s efforts.

For the past 15 years, she’s taken a week off from her human resources job to prepare and to serve Thanksgiving dinner to people in Wayne County.

“And year after year after year, you get to know everyone by name. And if they’re having issues, and if they need a prayer,” Dyser said.

The needy, the lonely, and those who just want to connect with their community come to this annual Thanksgiving Day dinner.

“She puts us first and is there for us and loves to cook for us,” Debbie McLaud of Honesdale said.

“Sometimes, people don’t have anywhere to go.  Maybe they're alone and don’t have family. So, it’s a nice feeling to bring everybody together and share on the holiday,” Jean Ruscoski of Honesdale said.

“When it's something for other people, you get back ten-fold,” Dyser said.

Laura Dyser and other volunteers say they’d find it hard to go back to a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with family.

She says people here have become family, and that the hard work of preparing meals for neighbors is worth the effort.