BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Hundreds of volunteers from across Maryland joined together Wednesday to serve up an early Thanksgiving dinner to people in need.

But, Goodwill’s Thanksgiving dinner is doing more than just serving up a festive meal. It does it every year at the Baltimore Convention Center to about 2,500 people with the help of hundreds of volunteers.

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“It does help the people that can’t afford to have a Thanksgiving dinner.” said Dundalk resident William Mercer.

It’s one of the long-running Thanksgiving events in the city for those in need.

“If you look around here, you literally see hundreds of people coming together to make thousands of people’s lives a little bit better even if it’s just for one day.” said Baltimore City Councilman Bill Henry.

And the dinner not only comes with turkey and all the trimmings, it also connects people there with help they might need.

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“We have social services, housing, you name it, we have people out there ready to help.” said Lisa Rusyniak, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries of the Chesapeake.

Many of the volunteers here have been coming for years and said they like seeing people light up when they serve that Thanksgiving food.

Some even say the dinner brings everyone there closer together.

“It also harmonizes the community and it brings the community together.” Annu Singleton, a volunteer, said.

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And everyone who came left with their stomachs full and smiles on their faces.

Stetson Miller