LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) — It’s a tradition of 30 years and counting at Ebenezer Baptist Church.

“Every dollar we get goes to a meal, so for every donation, we always put the money back in the kitchen. We’re always feeding,” said Sandra Forbes, outreach director at Ebenezer Baptist Church.

Even before most of us were awake this Thanksgiving morning, this army of volunteers was hard at work.

“Some of them were here yesterday at noon and they came back this morning. We got back here this morning at 6:30. We left last night at 8,” Sandra Forbes said.

The church is trying to make this day as special for those in need.

“That I make somebody smile. That we help our community. That we’re helping somebody out, and so they appreciate it so much. I’m grateful for that,” Forbes said.

Ebenezer is one of a few places in Lancaster giving away meals. 

“Thirty-five turkeys. Each turkey was at least 20-25 pounds. We did six crates of sweet potatoes. They were forty pounds a crate. I did almost a hundred boxes of elbow macaroni and we did so many pounds of cheese I don’t even know how much,” Forbes said.

That’s how much food Sandra Forbes and her team cooked, but it’s more about the giving than the thanks.

“It’s not just something packaged. It is packaged with love and purpose. It’s not leftovers and prepared fully that day, cooked,” said Dionne Golden, a minister at Ebenezer Baptist Church.

Forbes says this holiday has always been especially hard for her family.

“Nine years ago we lost our granddaughter the Wednesday before Thanksgiving so my family comes to do this just because it’s just a very emotional time for us. But when you’re doing something for someone else you don’t have time to think, so that’s what we do,” Forbes added.

It’s not too late to give back. Forbes says giving back to the community doesn’t have to happen only on Thanksgiving, it can happen all year round.