"What a great community. It pulled together when we needed them the most. And here we are, it's proof. This is very exciting, and I get very emotional about it", says Rose.
Starting out as a veteran tradition, the annual community feast has evolved into holiday fellowship that many rely on each year.
"About thirteen years ago, I took it over cause it fell on my office, and we just said, 'what the heck, we'll just invite anyone that's in need or alone on Thanksgiving'", says Jimmy DeFoor, Taylor County Veterans Service Office.
From all walks of life, for one day, differences seem to cease, and everyone works together to serve.
It's Velma Cornett's first year at the event with her family and friends, but says it could become a tradition.
"I thought it was really thoughtful what they're doing. We saw on TV about them almost not having it. It's nice they came together", Cornett tells us.
Three weeks ago, no one thought this event would happen. After we reported that at the beginning of November, there was a community outpouring. Now, hundreds of volunteers and $16,000 later, there was a hot meal for anyone who needed it, and more importantly, what that meal represents--a community united.
Abilene pulled it off, and on Thanksgiving, filled thousands of stomachs, and hearts.
The Veterans Service Office tells us they saw record numbers of folks coming in. They are also thrilled to announce they already have some resources set aside for next year's feast.