“The main thing about our Thanksgiving dinner is that it's meant to be just a calm, welcoming atmosphere, where anyone can come in for as little or as long as they would like, and really just be able to meet new people, have conversations, and enjoy a nice meal,” says Andrew Zapfel, secretary for the Board of Directors for The DC Center for the LGBT Community.
The annual meal offers a space for those alone on the holiday to come together and socialize with others in similar situations. Originally started as a space for refugees and asylum seekers served by Center Global, the meal's guest list expanded to include seniors who are part of the Center Aging group, and later, to the wider public.
Starting at 1 p.m., the doors of The DC Center will open for a communal celebration, featuring food prepared and provided by Food & Friends. (Attendees may also choose to bring their own potluck dishes if they so desire.) Everyone is asked to bring their favorite card games, board games, or music to share with the rest of the group.
“We really don't want Thanksgiving to be a day where people feel alone or that they don't have anywhere to go,” says Zapfel. “This is really that place, where our doors are open, and anyone can attend and be a part of a very welcoming space.”
The DC Center's Thanksgiving Day celebration is Thursday, Nov. 28, from 1-5 p.m., at the Frank D. Reeves Municipal Center, 2000 14th St. NW, Suite 105. Call 202-682-2245 or visit www.thedccenter.org.
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