CHICAGO — Local community groups and parishes are getting into the spirit of the Thanksgiving holiday by opening their doors for hot meals, camaraderie and comfort.
Here's a look at places with Thanksgiving offerings throughout the week:
• The Louis L. Valentine Boys and Girls Club, 3400 S. Emerald Ave. in Bridgeport, is hosting its annual free turkey dinner from 3-6 p.m. Wednesday. Members of the club, their families and the surrounding community are invited to the feast. For more information, call the club at 773-927-7373.
• First Lutheran Church of the Trinity, 643 W. 31st St. in Bridgeport, is hosting a "Community Meal" starting at 5 p.m. Thursday. Parishioners and their families are welcome to attend. It’s a potluck, so guests are encouraged to bring a dish to pass, a clothing donation to the church’s “God’s Closet” store or simply to volunteer their time setting up for the activities.
• The Union Avenue United Methodist Church, 4356 S. Union Ave. in Canaryville, will host its weekly food pantry on Wednesday, where those in need will receive frozen chickens, vegetables, bread and, if available, sweets. Ray Carey, who helps run the pantry, said donations of more frozen chickens would be appreciated.
“We’ve been feeding hungry people for 18 years. Now we’re feeding desperate people. These people have nothing. If you can help, it would be great,” he said.
• Also in Canaryville, St. Gabriel Catholic Church’s “Men of Madonna” group will host its annual Thanksgiving Day dinner from 1-4 p.m. Thursday at the school hall. Neighborhood residents, particularly senior citizens, are encouraged to enjoy a turkey dinner with all the fixings. Rides will be offered. Call 773-538-1078 before Thursday or 773-268-6637 on Thanksgiving Day to arrange for transportation.
• On Friday, Benton House, the century-old Bridgeport settlement home at 3052 S. Gratten Ave., will host its weekly food pantry. Organizers of the program say many Thanksgiving-style items will still be available for pickup. The pantry takes place noon-2 p.m.