Thanksgiving at the Stockton ARC

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Thanksgiving at the Stockton ARC

by Dawn Marks –

[Photo by Judy Rockey]


Captains Timothy and Judith Rockey are the administrators at the Stockton ARC that houses and serves 80 residents.

Prior to joining the ranks of The Salvation Army, Tim Rockey was a chef and his cooking skills come in handy at Thanksgiving as he cooks and prepares most of the food himself for approximately 125 people.

His shopping list usually consists of six turkeys—largest he can find—a case of potatoes for mashing, a case of sweet potatoes with enough apricots and pecans to top them. He also buys a case of fresh cranberries and fresh persimmons, fresh green beans with ham hocks, cornbread, dressing and gravy. Items are purchased for a complete salad bar and pumpkin pie—or bread pudding—with fresh whipped cream. “Mrs. Captain” makes the desserts. Relish trays are prepared.

“It’s a rather simple meal, but very tasty,” Rockey said.

Students from U.C. Stanislaus are always on hand to help set up and serve food.

Mrs. Captain decorates every table with centerpieces and Rockey sets up a carving station for the turkeys. Meals are served in the dining room.

“Gratitude is foundational to sobriety. Gratitude is what powers our programs. When we feel victimized we are at the mercy of our emotions and self-pity, which results in further victimization. Gratitude for the new day, the new life, the new chances in sobriety get us out of ourselves and into new perspectives. It is part and parcel to our Christian faith as well. ‘Count Your Blessings’ is not just a verse, it is a methodology which gives us great power over depression and doubt, often lurking around our doors waiting to draw us away from our salvation into powerlessness and lack of self-esteem,” Rockey said. “Thanksgiving is a great time to remind ourselves that when we can’t, God can. When we won’t, God will. When we call, God answers. It’s a good place to start our list of things to be thankful for.”

Dawn Marks



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