Thanksgiving is Thurday, November 28, 2013. Below is a list of Minnesota churches and organizations offering a free Thanksgiving Meal to those in need of a warm, welcoming place to celebrate. Includes Twin Cities Metro area and beyond – if you know of any additional locations, please post in comments section below.

Many of these organizations are also seeking volunteer help and/or donations.

Have a Wonderful Thanksgiving!

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November 28, 2013 (Thursday). St. Matthew’s Church Worship & Thanksgiving Meal. Service is 10 am, Meal served from 11:30 am-2:30 pm. All Welcome. 4101 Washington St NE, Columbia Heights. Reservations not required but appreciated (763) 788-9427.
November 28, 2013 (Thursday). Free Thanksgiving Dinner. 11 am-4 pm. Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center. HOME DELIVERY: Please call 723-6484 by Friday, Nov. 22, to request meal delivery.
VOLUNTEERS Needed: Volunteer to prepare for and/or serve food at the Buffet. Please sign up online or call the volunteer phone line at 723-6774.
Monetary Donations also appreciated – Ruth Erdmann-Sluka at 723-5919 or email at or Send a check made out to The College of St. Scholastica at:
The College of St. Scholastica
Attn: Thanksgiving Buffet Fund
1200 Kenwood Avenue
Duluth MN, 55811
November 28, 2013 (Thursday). Free Thanksgiving Dinner. 11 am-1:30 pm. Minnewaska Area High School between Glenwood and Starbuck on Highway 28-29. Need a ride or a delivered meal? Call Elaine at 634-1926.
VOLUNTEERS Needed- Volunteers are needed for prep, serving, delivering meals, or giving rides. Also needed are homemade fruit pies. Please call by Monday November 25th. Monetary donations: contact Gordy at Glenwood State Bank
Monetary Donations Appreciated- Gordy at Glenwood State Bank
November 28, 2013 (Thursday). Free Thanksgiving Dinner. 1 pm. First Congregational Church. The church is located at the corner of Third Avenue West and Second Street in Grand Marais. There is no charge for this traditional meal, served family style in the downstairs Fellowship Hall. Information about home delivery, take-out meals, and rides to the dinner is available by calling the church office at 218-387-2113.
November 28, 2013 (Thursday). Free Thanksgiving Dinner. 1 pm. Fellowship Hall at Gethsemane Lutheran Church, 715 Minnetonka Mills Road, Hopkins.
Reservations are necessary. Contact the church office at 952-935-1753 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday to make reservations. Dinner reservations will be accepted until 4 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 27, or until seating capacity is reached.Transportation is available if needed.


 November 28, 2013 (Thursday). Worship & Thanksgiving Meal. 1 pm. Mt. Olive Lutheran Church and School, located at 1123 Marsh Street in Mankato. Worship at 10 am, Meal to follow at 11 am.


 Free Meal for Homeless Youth (age 21 and under), AEGIS FOUNDATION. November 28, 2013 (Thursday) 12-5 pm (meal served from 1-3 pm). Bring your photo ID to ARIA at 105 North 1st Street in Minneapolis. Music, games, free bus tokens, and you can enter to win one of two bikes from Full Cycle Bike Shop. 


 The MINNEAPOLIS  AMERICAN  INDIAN CENTER Powwow and Thanksgiving Feast. November 28, 2013 (Thursday) 12-2 pm.   15th and Franklin Ave, Minneapolis. There will also be a coat give away.

 LYNDALE Community Dinner Thanksgiving Eve FeastNovember 27, 2013 (Wednesday) 6-7 pm. Zion Lutheran Church: 128 W 33rd Street (33rd/Blaisdell) Minneapolis, MN 55408. (612) 824-1017.  $3 Per Person, $6 Per Family Suggested Donation (No one turned away due to inability to contribute)

MARIE SANDVICK Center Free Thanksgiving Meal: November 28, 2013 (Thursday) 11 am- 2 pm. 1112 East Franklin Avenue Minneapolis. (612) 870-9617.
See Events Page for Marie Sandvick’s Worship Schedule, 12 Step Program, Community Dinner, Clothing Give Aways, Movies, Bible Study and More:

PEPITOS- Thanksgiving Meal. November 28, 2013 (Thursday) 10 am- 3pm.  48th and Chicago, Minneapolis.


 North Haven Church Thanksgiving Meal- November 28, 2013 (Thursday) 12-2. 2240 15th Avenue East North St Paul, MN (Off McKnight and Hwy 36). (651) 777-1384.


 Bierstube’s Happy Thanksgiving Free Meal: November 28, 2013 (Thursday). 12-2 pm. 7121 10th Street North, Oakdale. (651) 731-8381. Call Jodi for reservations: (651) 271-4961.


Loaves & Fishes – Join us for Thanksgiving Dinner!
Come celebrate Thanksgiving at one of our dining sites on Thursday, November 28, 2013. The following five sites will serve dinner during the times listed. Please note that our other dining sites will be closed that day. All are welcome.

Additionally, our dining site in Coon Rapids (at the Salvation Army Harvest Corps – click for a map)will serve a traditional Thanksgiving dinner on Wednesday, November 27 from 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. but will be closed on Thanksgiving day.


November 28, 2013 (Thursday). 11 am-1 pm. “Sharing Our Bounty” annual free Thanksgiving Dinner. Wildcats Restaurant, located at 37 South Broadway in Wells.


 Bierstube’s Happy Thanksgiving Free Meal: November 28, 2013 (Thursday). 12-2 pm. 2670 East County Road E, White Bear Lake (near Century). (651) 773-5854. Call Jodi for reservations: (651) 271-4961.

Victory Celebration Family Church Free Thanksgiving Meal: November 28, 2013 (Thursday). 11:30 am and 1:00 pm. 2600 East County Road E (near Century, Lower Level or Back Parking Lot) Please Register at (651) 483-9999 or online at


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Remembering the men and women of our Armed Forces this Memorial Day with the deepest appreciation for your valor and sacrifices.

God Bless you on Memorial Day and Always!

A hug or an encouraging word is the best remedy for a tough day.

So often we get impatient or irritated when our kids are acting out; sometimes we are just tired..

Somtimes your kids need discipline and sometimes they just need a hug.

Amazing how kindness will also increase patience,

and make it easier to understand others

It all starts with a hug :)

A Hug, Lynn Mari 2011

When my family was homeless, I would tell the kids stories to keep their spirits up.

Since night time was hardest, and they got scared, I told them the last light of the day is the “Perfect Light“.

That the Fairies sleep in the cracks of trees during the day and right before the sun goes down, they wake up, spread their wings & fly all over the world. That beautiful glowing light you see is really hundreds of fairies flying away.. the fairies look over children when they sleep at night and give them good dreams.

My kids remember those stories and to this day, look  for faeries in the trees when the sun is going down.

Lynn Mari, 2012





With just a few dollars in my purse, and a mountain of bills in my horizon, shopping as a single mom on Black Friday seemed to be a bleak task..but then I was surprised by the gift my Baby really wanted.


Store XYZ  had a “huge” sale on toys, and with my Baby’s birthday coming up plus Christmas, I had to check out the Black Friday deals.. but I was NOT shopping in the traditional way: with rabid frenzy, foaming at the mouth as incremental percentages dropped at the bin a crowd is fighting over, purses battling & claw like hands greedily snatching a bargain that last all of 30 seconds then vanishes, while a metallic voice announces another sale at the other end of the store that has the crowd making a mad dash in the other direction, tipping the store on one end, and tearing everything up in their wake like wild fire..


I was shopping as a single mom, on a very limited income, who just wanted to give my kids something nice for the holidays, to let them know how much I love them–how special they are to me. Almost all of my income goes towards the bills or putting gas in the car; it seemed my family had sacrificed so much throughout the year, and I hoped to give just a little back.


When I went into Store XYZ, the supply of toys was very small. Most were cheap knock offs made in foreign countries, and the dust on the shelves said they had been sitting there for awhile. My heart wrenched to realize that even with the sale, I could not afford these toys! In fact, I would be scraping coins from the bottom of my purse, and loose change from the buckets of vending machines just to get the kids a little gift. Yet I was determined to leave the store with something...


The storm in my thoughts was broken by a surprising ray of sunshine–my Baby. Left to wander the store, the Baby decided to play with an entire box of rubber spiders, snakes, lizards & other creepy crawlies. Next, he found an giant soup kettle–which Baby became enamored with, he loves pots n’ pans. Baby dumped all the rubber critters in the soup kettle then put the lid back on. He smiled with pride. I giggled imaging who would open the kettle & find the realistic bugs & lizards inside..they would probably run out of the store screaming :o


Then Baby found his favorite–spoons. Metal spoons made the best sound when used to bang on objects–he especially loves the ear shattering clang of metal spoons hitting pots n pans. The wooden spoons were also interesting, and you can chew on those! Baby was soo happy with those spoons, his eyes lit up and his chubby hands grabbed tightly onto the handles as he looked for opportunities to bang those spoons against anything his spindly arms could reach. The price wasn’t bad either: $2.50 for 4 metal spoons, and 4 wooden spoons. I had to buy those, and why wait for his birthday, NOW was the perfect time to celebrate!


I did find two inexpensive toys and after spending near $10 I was completely broke, and now digging for change to fill my gas tank. So that was my Non Black Friday Shopping..and the bills are piling up as I type.


What I learned is that if you are spending all your time worrying about how to please your children, or shopping yourself into debt, you may be able to provide a nice material present but you are robbing your child of the energy, and creativity you have to offer.  The time and attention you give to your children is a gift in itself–children are nourished by our love.


There are plenty of ways to give your child an enjoyable holiday even on a tight budget…to discover what makes your child really happy, and to discover the enchantment of their childhood, you don’t need to drive to a store or mall; you need only to get on the child’s level, drop adult assumptions, and play in the context of their world. For me it was rubber creepy crawlies inside a soup kettle. My Baby was absolutely fascinated by that..he enjoyed taking a few moments to play more than he would if I was gone a whole day shopping, and he was strapped inside a cart, told to be quiet, stop wriggling, behave or else.. If you get to take a day off work for Black Friday (which is a blessing in itself–who can afford to take a day off work!?!), it only makes sense to spend that time with your family & to limit the shopping. What makes the holidays meaningful, and what colors our memories is contained within the circle of our friends and family. 

– Lynn Mari, 2012.

Antique Spoons for Baby – We enjoyed making homemade mixed fruit applesauce

The first steps to murder are often set in motion by ordinary circumstances  in our daily lives. What is more normal than a man and a woman, total strangers, discovering one another in a restaurant, bar, shopping mall or any other venue where people gather? Most of us have been through similiar circumstances, and have never given the slightest thought to a potentially lethal outcome.” – “Honeymoon with a Killer” by Don Lasseter with Ronald E. Bowers, forward. Pinacle Books: New York, New York. 2009.

This paragraph is so powerful, it reminds me of how easily an ordinary person can be ensnared by an abuser, their life forever changed. That when someone wins your trust, and your heart, it is easy to miss the “red flags”… but have hope, for if you survive, there is always a second chance for a better life.


About “Honeymoon with a Killer”:

Bruce Cleland, by all accounts, was an intelligent, friendly man with everything to live for. He was devoted to his family, and got along with everyone. He was frugal with money, to save for his future–and dreamed of finding a loving wife to spend the rest of his life with. Instead, Bruce was targeted by the narcissistic sociopath Rebecca Salcedo who systematically stole his money, his heart, and then his life by masterminding a brutal murder.

Rebecca never loved Bruce, but after meeting him did a credit check, and once found out he was financially well off, sheexploited him for expensive gifts while having sexual relations with multiple partners, and partying at his expense. Rebecca married and killed Bruce for financial gain. Only months after the marriage, her emotionally abusive & erratic behavior caused Bruce to ask for a divorce. When Rebecca realized she would not profit from a divorce, she  faked a carjack, in which her two cousins killed Bruce, so that she may inherit money through his death.

Rebecca and her minions deserve a long, miserable life in prison..where they can see the sunshine and in it’s bright glimmer remember Bruce, and the life they have brutally stolen. They deserve to take a few steps, only to be chained and held behind bars–to remember the taste of freedom, and the bitter reality they will never experience the free world again. They deserve long nights tossing and turning on hard mattresses, dreaming of Bruce, and haunted by what they did.

Thank you to the police, prosecutors, witnesses, jury and everyone who worked so hard to put these 3 evil killers behind bars, and ensure justice to Bruce.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the Cleland family, and to the friends of Bruce. May God give you comfort. — Lynn, 2012.


Don Lasseter Online:

In Memory Bruce Cleland:

Wife Allegedly Hired Killer, Faked Carjack.” by Matea Gold. February 18, 1998. Los Angelos Times.

A bit of humor for those sick of the negative campaign commercials..

VOTE McCain for President – Lucas McCain the Law is on Your Side!

America has returned to the Wild West. The Rifleman, offers REAL Solutions for today’s problems.. Giddy on up to the voting booth to elect Lucas McCain!

* Horses for Hoopties! Trade in your gas guzzling car to purchase a horse…will reduce dangerous greenhouse emissions increasing friendly methane emissions! Mhmm country fresh!


* Is Pro-Life.. unless you are standing at the wrong end of his rifle

* Can solve any problem with the right amount of dramatic music & a steely eyed glare

The Rifleman Online:

The Rifleman, “Welcome to the McCain Ranch”,  “Mark’s Memories:

Watch the Rifleman on Hulu:!the-rifleman


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