BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Goodwill volunteers are serving up turkey dinners to those in need.

Monique Griego is there as thousands of people receive a free holiday meal.

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A roll, turkey and all the fixings.

“The food is really good and the atmosphere is really nice,” Patrice Jeter, who attended the dinner, said. “They really going out of their way to make us feel comfortable.”

Jeter and her family shared an early Thanksgiving with a crowd of people as Goodwill served up free turkey dinners at the downtown convention center.

“There’s people here who don’t have family, but the people here make you feel like your family,” Lisa Rusyniak said.

One thousand eight hundred pounds of turkey is what Goodwill expects to go through in order to feed the 3,500 people flowing through these doors.

In order to put this event on, it really does take a lot of goodwill. There are around 250 volunteers here and all this food is donated.

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“This is the best blessing I could give to anyone. Giving is always better than receiving,” said Rene Matthews volunteer.

For many, if it weren’t for this plate, they wouldn’t have a Thanksgiving.

“I know what they’ve been through because I was homeless at one time,” Walter Rice said.

Once Rice got back on his feet he decided to volunteer. This is his 18th year at this dinner.

“I love it! I love to see the smile on people’s faces,” he said.

Besides being happy and satisfied, many here like Rice want to give back.

“Hopefully, when I get back on my feet, I can hopefully participate in something like this,” Jeter said.

This is the 56th time Goodwill has served up a free Thanksgiving dinner.

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Most of the food served Wednesday was donated by Martin’s West Caterers in Baltimore.