Before leaving for the Fulton Soup Kitchen on Saturday, Susan Nolte of Fulton said she considered staying in and enjoying her Saturday at home. Nolte said she's glad she didn't stay home as she volunteered at the soup kitchen's Thanksgiving, serving meals to people in the community. Nolte is new to Fulton and has no family in the area. She said instead of whining about being away from loved ones during the Thanksgiving weekend, she got involved.
"My holidays would have been sad and lonely if I didn't take the opportunity to do something for someone else," she said.
Anne Erbschloe, Fulton Soup Kitchen president, organized the event with help from her husband, Jim, and soup kitchens volunteers. Nolte described the Erbschole couple as "unsung heroes."
"They don't have to do this but you can see their genuine love for their community," Nolte said.
Cooking stuffing, green beans, mashed potatoes and gravy in the kitchen was Connie "Miss Connie" Cashion of Holts Summit. Cashion helps Anne Erbschloe run the soup kitchen, and was one of 20 to 30 volunteers serving on Saturday. To volunteer, people called and offered to help. Anne Erbschloe said she usually receives more volunteers than necessary, but she's OK with that.
"I'm very grateful (for the volunteers) because otherwise I would have to do this all by myself," Anne Erbschole said with a laugh.
Last year, Anne Erbschole said, the soup kitchen volunteers cooked enough food for 350 meals. This year, they prepared enough food for 400. The soup kitchen will use any leftovers for its regularly scheduled meals.