Village of Promise brings the Huntsville community together around One Table again this year

one table village of promise
This is happening again this year. (Jeff White Photographer / Village of Promise Facebook)

Thanksgiving is when many families wrangle the whole crew around the table—but Village of Promise takes it a step further.

They put on One Table—an outdoor Thanksgiving meal in Big Spring Park that brings people from all over the Huntsville community together around, well, one table.

What’s it about?

village of promise one table
Volunteers make the day happen. (Village of Promise / Facebook)

We chatted with the CEO of Village of Promise, Dana Gillis, and he talked about just how important and unique this event is.

Gillis said that it’s an opportunity for people from different walks of life to come together and enjoy a simple meal. But it’s not just about the food.

One Table is a time of giving thanks, creating unity and celebrating diversity. Gillis explained that One Table does this, “over a simple meal—the way things were done eons ago.”

It’s about the community and having meaningful conversations about our city, which Gillis explained is especially important in 2022.

“It’s especially important this year being named best city in the nation. There are probably segments of the city where you ask the question, ‘Is it the best place?’, and it might be a slightly different and nuanced answer.”

Dana Gillis, Village of Promise CEO

Gillis said that One Table is a chance to bring Huntsvillians together to talk about issues in the community for the purpose of making it truly the best place to live—for everyone.

“It’s an opportunity to bring people together and talk about those issues, but not in a confrontational sense. We want them all to get the feeling that this is the best place to live.”

Dana Gillis, Village of Promise CEO

This is Village of Promise’s fourth go-round of bringing Huntsville together with One Table, and there’s lots to look forward to—including the food!

What’s on the menu?

One Table’s Thanksgiving-style menu will catered by Bubba’s Silver Spoon Catering. With all the classics from turkey and dressing to mac and cheese, you won’t leave Big Spring Park hungry on November 21.

There will even be a vegan menu catered by Tamarind Island Grille with everything from vegan fried chicken and gravy to vegan cornbread.

So, what can you expect when you arrive at Big Spring? You’ll head over to the area near the Huntsville Museum of Art, and there will be a stage, music playing in the background and an emcee to guide guests and ask thought-provoking questions.

Then, you’ll go through a line to get your meal and head over to a long table where you’ll get to meet new people and have those meaningful conversations.

To make sure you know where everything is and answer all your questions, there will be friendly volunteers all around the park.

“Just come out and enjoy the fellowship and the food.”

Dana Gillis, Village of Promise CEO

Sound like a good time? We think so too—a good time brought to you by Village of Promise. Speaking of…

What is Village of Promise?

village of promise
They’re all smiles. (Village of Promise / Facebook)

So, how does Village of Promise factor into all this? One Table isn’t about Village of Promise itself—it’s about the city of Huntsville. However, Village of Promise is the host of the event, so we thought we’d share a little bit about their awesome mission.

Village of Promise is a non-profit that focuses on impacting our community in the long-term through education and family advancement, bringing people out of generational poverty and into self-sustaining lives. They educate and support kids from “cradle to career,” and they meet with families to help them reach their dreams.

“We ask them to shape their future. Our job is help and support.”

Dana Gillis, Village of Promise CEO

What a mission. If you want to get involved with it, here’s where you can find them.

How can I participate in One Table?

one table village of promise
It takes a village. (Village of Promise / Facebook)

So, ready to join Huntsville around One Table? Here’s the details.

One Table already has seen an incredible response for volunteers this year, as in the past, because, as Gillis pointed out, “This is such a giving community.”

But, there’s still chances to lend a hand. You can sign up to volunteer, become a sponsor or donate.

BONUS: There’s lots more events going on in November that you don’t want to miss. Here’s our guide to the month.

Are you going to One Table this year? Let us know on social media by tagging us @hvilleblast or by using our hashtag #hvilleblast.

Sarah Gronberg
Sarah Gronberg
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