Volunteer at the 2018 International Student Thanksgiving Dinner

Hosted by Friends of UNCW International Students,

Ratio Christi, and the Office of International Programs (OIP)



Date: Saturday, November 17, 2018

Time: 6:00 p.m. - dinner served by 7:00 p.m.

Location: Dr. & Mrs. Simpson’s house, 130 Hooker Road, Wilmington, NC 28403


Goal: To allow international students to experience a Thanksgiving dinner in an American home with faculty, staff and friends - and an opportunity to work along side these students!


Help Needed:

Workers (table hosts, cooking, set up, and decorating assistance on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, door greeters (day into evening), and clean up. We especially need a photographer - camera provided! Please contact Cindy Simpson at or 910-274-5619 if you have questions!  Click the sign up link above to volunteer.

Donations of food (sweet potato and cranberry dishes; pumpkin pie; pecan pies; fruit pies; cakes, cookies, and grapes) or money to cover the costs for dish

rental, napkins, plastic ware, cups, and decorations. Detailed lists and sign ups are available via signup genius link in this email.

Parking: back in parking at fence or yard for work days; follow directions night of event


Organization for the event:

1. Cindy Simpson and Madison McCallon are coordinating the meal preparation and Sissy Hendricks is coordinating the decorations. Annie Kate Sahlie is coordinating the room hostesses and table service. Set up and decorating will begin on Thursday, November 15 and continue on Friday and Saturday. We are still looking for coordinators for the small kitchen - including working with students to do food prep, cooking turkeys, mashed potatoes and green bean casserole. Cindy Simpson and Madison will manage operations in the main kitchen (turkeys, gravy, stuffing, general food organization).


2. The international student leader is Hannah Kent - Ratio Christi will be working with students as well. Maria Elena Gaborov Jones is our contact in the OIP office. The International Students and Ratio Christi students are encouraging attendance by international as well as US students; sorting and preparing name tags (printed by the Office of International Programs - OIP); securing student workers for set up, decorating and food preparation; greeting student guests; and getting photographs  of as many students as possible. 


General Schedule for the Event


Thursday, November 15

1. 9:30 a.m. - general work day starts - deck arrangement, lighting set up, wall hangings in garage and basement, organizing welcome garage, decorating


2. Noon - light lunch available for workers


3. 6 p.m. — close for the day



Friday, November 16

1. 8:30 a.m. - trucks/cars leave for picking up tables, chairs, and dishes at L&L party rentals on Wrightsville Avenue


2. 9:30 a.m. - general work day starts - setting up tables, decorating tables, setting up guest house kitchen for food preparation, setting up outdoor burner


3. Noon - light lunch available for workers


4. 1:30 p.m. - cooking and turkey prepping starts (baking cornbread, chopping vegetables for stuffing)


Saturday, November 17:

1. 9:30 a.m. - Food preparation begins - turkeys, cornbread dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, and green bean casserole are prepared, and final decorating and set up begin.


2. 9:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. - food donations accepted - refrigerated and non-refrigerated items can be dropped off - any hot dishes need to be delivered as close to meal time as possible (or bring them if you are attending - there are limited spaces for warming). There will be a sign in sheet/greeter to provide location for the item being delivered. DO NOT BRING SERVING SPOONS, ETC AS WE HAVE PLENTY!


3. 5:30 p.m. - 5:45 p.m. - table hosts and door greeters arrive - get name tags and and instructions at check in table (table hosts should also receive an email prior to the day of the event)


4. 5:45 p.m. - transportation for some students from Wagner Hall to event - provided by vans from UNCW campus - driven by OIP staff.


5. 6:00 p.m. - students who are guests begin to arrive (many students have been in and out all day - some dress here for the evening). Photo booth opens - students will have an opportunity to get group or individual shots by a student photographer


6. 6:45 p.m. - table hosts should be at or near the table assignment to encourage upstairs guests to gather near the living room and downstairs guests to gather on the driveway (weather permitting - adjusted if needed) - there will be special messages - a welcome, a message about Thanksgiving and a Thanksgiving prayer.


7. 7:00 p.m. - dinner buffets should be ready for serving - the plan includes room servers who will guide guests to the buffet lines - there will be three buffet lines (main kitchen, small kitchen, and lower level). Dessert buffets will be available near these locations. Table hosts should help students feel comfortable and welcome - initiating or participating in conversations and sharing information about some of the foods served - particularly cranberry dishes!


8. 9:00 p.m. (approximately) - event ends, transportation back to campus begins, and clean up begins