Omaha’s Stephen Center serves special Thanksgiving meal for patrons

A special Thanksgiving meal is served at the Stephen Center
Published: Nov. 25, 2022 at 12:19 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Omaha’s Stephen Center helps people who are experiencing homelessness, addiction and mental health issues.

Every year the center serves up a Thanksgiving dinner for the men, women and children who make the center home.

When Archbishop George Lucas blessed the food at the Stephens Center Thursday morning, Anderson Smith might have thought those prayers went up especially for him.

Anderson has been in and out of the Stephen Center and he has some serious health issues, but he still has a lot to be thankful for.

“With my TBI when I was at the hospital they said I died and came back, so I’m real thankful for that,” Smith said.

Archbishop Lucas has been praying and helping to serve Thanksgiving dinner at the Stephen Center for nine years.

“It’s a place for me to meet some people in the community that I might not have a chance to meet otherwise,” Lucas said. “Some neighbors of ours and I think it’s a way for me to give thanks to God for all the blessings I received.”

The Archbishop is one of more than two dozen volunteers at the Stephen Center who give their time to make sure others are served a good Thanksgiving Day meal.

“It’s important for people in our community who maybe are struggling a little bit, but it’s also important for those of us who volunteer. There’s always an exchange of gifts. I find we get to know others in the community and learn something from each other.”

We might all be able to learn something from Anderson, like many of the things we take for granted are actually a gift.

“I’m also just really grateful and thankful for this place.”

Officials at the Stephen Center say during the two meal shifts they usually serve between 150 to 200 people.