Hundreds of children and families gathered at Charles Houston Recreation Center Nov. 21 as the annual Friendsgiving dinner was celebrated in the community.
“We’ve been doing this for about 11 years now,” said Alexandria Recreation and Community Specialist Michael Johnson, the coordinator of the event.
Volunteers were on hand to cook and serve the pre-Thanksgiving meal to families from across the city.
“The dinner was originally started with the Alexandria Police Department and the recreation department as a way to get first responders and community members more engaged with each other,” Johnson said. “It’s an opportunity to incorporate our law enforcement community with the community that they serve.”
The event was sponsored by the Alexandria Sheriff’s Office, the Alexandria Police Department, Keith and Michelle Burns and the Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities.
“It is our hope that in sitting down and interacting more with one another we can learn each other’s names, be more respectful and hopefully cut down on some of the crime in the city,” Johnson said. “That is my hope in bringing everyone together.”