Local veterans invited to Thanksgiving dinner at Anna’s House

Published 3:36 pm Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Local veterans searching for fellowship for the upcoming holiday are invited to Anna’s House on Irvine Road for a meal on Thanksgiving day.

“It is for any veteran who does not have a place to go for a Thanksgiving dinner,” said Phyllis Abbot, the executive director of

Lady Veterans Connect, a Winchester-based nonprofit dedicated to helping female veterans in need.

The event will last from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will also serve as the third gathering of the Veterans Meetup, a local group dedicated to fostering connections between those who have served in the armed forces.

Lady Veterans Connected has sponsored different holiday events, but this will be its inaugural dinner.

“We’ve done some different things on Thanksgiving, but this is the first time we’ve actually had the dinner and invited people in,” Abbot said about the event.

The holidays are always difficult for those without a close connection to their immediate or extended families, including veterans. “There are a lot of your veterans who are not married or who don’t have a relationship,” Abbot said.

“A lot of them have a disconnect with their families. So this gives them a safe place to come and be with other veterans.”

The meal will be a traditional Thanksgiving spread. It will be prepared and served by veterans. Xazavier Osborne, who previously donated food to Anna’s House on his 16th birthday, and his familywill provide a turkey and a ham.

“He’s a wonderful young man,” Abbot said about Osborne.

Volunteers have organized games to get everyone involved, and there will also be an opportunity to decorate a Christmas tree.

More importantly, the dinner will hopefully help foster connections between veterans in need and the Veterans Meetup.

“The people who have come to those have not reached out to organizations before because they do not feel like it is a secure environment where they can come and talk and share,” Abbot said about the attendees at prior meetups. “This is a way for them to reach out and be a part of something.”