CHICAGO — Inside the Boys and Girls Club Chicago, a small number of volunteers have been working all Wednesday prepping for its Thanksgiving distribution.

Rachel Carpenter is one of the more than 20 volunteers who came out Wednesday for the organization’s 55th annual Valentine Club Thanksgiving Distribution.

“It’s helping the community and being thankful for my community,” Carpenter said. “It’s definitely gave me better understanding of the meaning of Thanksgiving.”

For Carpenter, volunteering is bringing things full circle since she and her family would benefit from the annual Thanksgiving dinners at the club.

“It was coming as a family, even if it was come to eat, as a community with a bunch of people,” Carpenter said. “Means a lot to be able to give back.”

In various ways, more than 20 Boys and Girls clubs across the city are hosting a Thanksgiving event.

“We go where there is need,” Michael Crowley, chief of staff for the Boys and Girls Club of Chicago said. “We are here to support not just our kids but the communities they are a part of. That’s what makes communities stronger.”

A similar moto was displayed in Evanston where Connections for the Homeless cooked up meals for 60 people who are currently in shelter supported by the group.