WICHITA, Kan. -

Thanksgiving came a day early for thousands in Wichita.

The downtown YMCA hosted the 36th annual "We Care" dinner.

Dozens of volunteers expected to serve about 23-hundred people a full turkey meal.

They also planned to give away more than a thousand donated coats to those trying to keep warm.

Volunteers say they pay particular attention to the children.

Roger Mericle tells us what he enjoys, "Taking them in and loving them one at a time. It's a tremendous blessing to see those kids come through..they walk through that front door just shivering, teeth are chattering and by the time they leave they're running around very happy. It's very heart warming to see that".

This was the first year the meal was served at the new downtown YMCA.