With Thanksgiving just around the corner, the WabiSabi Thrift Store is preparing for their annual Thanksgiving meal at the Grand Center on Thursday, Nov. 23, starting at 2 p.m.
WabiSabi crafted both its name and its ethos from the old Japanese adage meaning “acceptance of transience and imperfection.”
“In the Japanese art world, I think it means highlighting errors or flaws … if something breaks, you draw attention to it because it tells a story,” WabiSabi Program Director Nara Bopp-Williams explained.
The store itself has been a staple in Moab for 15 years, and this year’s Thanksgiving meal will be the 13th event put on by the WabiSabi staff and volunteers. Last year’s event saw a turnout of more than 600 people, about 100 of who were local volunteers. While the annual Thanksgiving meal has become a routinely anticipated event here in Moab, it almost ended last year when the organization announced would no longer be hosting the dinner.
“Last year was supposed to be our last event ever, and then we held the event, and it was so amazing with so many people showing up … we decided to host it again,” Bopp-Williams said. “I think a lot of people are really happy to have it back,”
Bopp-Williams explained that it was a logistical issue for them to host the event as a thrift store, and they were concerned as to whether or not they were the right organization to be hosting such a complex catering-style event. However, with the success of their attempted finale, the team at WabiSabi embraced their now-official role as once-a-year caterers and de-facto party planners.
“We had a lot of back and forth about whether or not we were the right organization to provide meals in this community, and we aren’t really, but Thanksgiving is so much more about community than it is about food. We are all about community,” she explained.
Donations may be made this year by taking the “Turkey Challenge,” a program where donating parties will have their names displayed at the event. Any donation, no matter the amount, will earn those who pitch in a bit of recognition.
Many Moab residents also prepare food themselves and bring it in, all of which must be prepared in a commercial kitchen, as WabiSabi cannot accept food cooked from home, to ensure health and safety.
For those interested in taking part, or for more information on how to volunteer or donate, go to wabisabimoab.com/communitythanksgiving.