Nigel Pelt (left) and Cianna Juarez dined together at WabiSabi's Thanksgiving meal at the Grand Center in 2016. This year’s free or by-donation meal will be held on Thursday, Nov. 23, from 2 to 5 p.m. [Moab Sun News file photo]

Thanksgiving has always been a time for families to come together and give thanks for the many blessings they have received throughout the year.

This year, Moab can once again be thankful for WabiSabi, Moab’s Community Thrift Store, which has organized a Community Thanksgiving from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Grand Center, 182 N. 500 West, where all are invited to come, eat and gather together.

WabiSabi took over the Community Thanksgiving dinner 13 years ago, and the event is now an established holiday tradition in Moab.

“The winter season is hard for people in Moab,” WabiSabi Program Director Nara Bopp-Williams said. “Wabi’s Thanksgiving dinner helps people feel a stronger sense of community.”

Community Thanksgiving will feed upwards of 700 people this year, giving locals a chance to see old friends and make new ones.

“We aim to fill bellies, but also hearts, by providing a warm and inviting location for anyone interested to come together and form new friendships, traditions and a sense of communal family,” WabiSabi Volunteer Coordinator Liz Donkersloot added.

The dinner is free, but donations are welcome and appreciated. Community Thanksgiving is not a fundraiser, and all proceeds will go toward funding next year’s dinner.

Anyone and everyone is invited, so come and bring your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, landlords, yoga instructors or anyone else.

“Moab is made strong not only by those who have lived here for generations, but also by our seasonal professionals and solo adventurers who may be far away from their blood relatives during the holiday season,” Donkersloot said.

WabiSabi staff members and volunteers run the show at this event. They set up tables, cook the food, serve meals, wash dishes and are on their feet from morning to late in the evening on Thanksgiving Day.

“We could not do this meal without volunteers,” Bopp-Williams said.

The event currently has approximately 100 volunteers signed up, but could use around 45 more. Moab is full of “big hearts looking to come together while giving back at the same time,” Donkersloot said.

If you would like to help, send an email to or call 435-259-2553.

Another great way to help make this event possible is by pledging a turkey. You can donate $20, $50, $100 or whatever you are able to and help Wabi pay for however many turkeys are needed to feed Moab. When you pledge, you can choose any name that will appear on a turkey displayed at the dinner. This can mean promoting your business or remembering a loved one.

If you or someone you know can’t make it to the dinner, you can have a meal delivered to your home after the event wraps up around 5 p.m. Contact WabiSabi or the Grand Center to sign up for home delivery.

WabiSabi staffers said the event would not be possible without the generous donations from businesses and restaurants all over town.

“The Grand Center donated the space, coffee shops donate all of our coffee, the Youth Garden Project always makes six pies with ingredients from their garden, it is beautiful,” Bopp-Williams said.

“Many local hot spots are generously donating once again this year,” Donkersloot added. “We will be receiving pies, cookies, and cheesecakes from favorites like Sweet Cravings, Zax, Peace Tree Café, Red Rock Bakery and more.”

Moonflower Community Cooperative is also donating, as well as Singha Thai Cuisine, which will be putting a twist on traditional Thanksgiving fare with its turkey curry. In addition to other business donors, WabiSabi has also received support from private individuals, such as Ken Moody, who is graciously giving his time and talent as the meal’s head chef.

Come give thanks for this community we all call home on Thanksgiving Day from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Grand Center.

“It’s hard not to get teary eyed as you see everyone in our community sitting together (at) long tables,” Bopp-Williams said.

You and your loved ones will have great conversations, lots of laughter and maybe a turkey leg or two.

All are welcome at WabiSabi’s Community Thanksgiving

What: WabiSabi Community Thanksgiving

When: Thursday, Nov. 23, from 2 to 5 p.m.

Where: Grand Center, 182 N. 500 West

Cost: Free, with suggested donation


We aim to fill bellies, but also hearts, by providing a warm and inviting location for anyone interested to come together and form new friendships, traditions and a sense of communal family.