Volunteers spent an afternoon last week setting up for what has become an annual tradition in Warrenton: The Thankful Hearts Thanksgiving Dinner.

The meal is provided to anyone who wants to come and eat. Organizers estimated they served around 325 people this year.

Originally started by three families, the Thankful Hearts Thanksgiving Dinner celebrated its seventh anniversary this year. Donations fully fund and supply the event.

“There are some of the more down-and-out folks who show up regularly,” said Lisa Lamping, one of the organizers. “But we also have people who have means, people who don’t want to spend Thanksgiving with their families, people who bring their whole family. … It just feels so good to come together and do something. There are no politics. There’s no stress. Everyone’s feeling happy, benevolent and kind.”

The event was modeled on a similar event the families heard about from friends in Ilwaco, Washington.

Over the years, as the event has grown, so have more community services like it in Warrenton, Lamping said.

“I see, locally, there’s a lot more going on like this than there used to be,” she said.

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