André House of Arizona volunteer Kathy Gibbons helps light candles during an annual Thanksgiving Eve vigil at White Tanks Cemetery in Litchfield Park on Nov. 23, 2022. (Photo by Samantha Chow/Cronkite News)

Maria Ornelas, 14, looks at a program during an annual Thanksgiving Eve vigil at White Tanks Cemetery in Litchfield Park on Nov. 23, 2022, organized by André House of Arizona. (Photo by Samantha Chow/Cronkite News)

André House of Arizona volunteer Karlee Bradley reads some of the 494 names of those buried at White Tanks Cemetery in Litchfield Park since Thanksgiving 2021. André House of Arizona has held the annual candlelight vigil for decades. Photo taken Nov. 23, 2022. (Photo by Samantha Chow/Cronkite News)

Dozens of people attend an annual Thanksgiving Eve vigil at White Tanks Cemetery in Litchfield Park on Nov. 23, 2022. André House of Arizona, which serves people experiencing homelessness, organizes the ceremony. (Photo by Samantha Chow/Cronkite News)

Rich Mizner, front, and his wife, Charlene Mizner, look at brick grave markers with a flashlight at White Tanks Cemetery in Litchfield Park on Nov. 23, 2022. This was the couple’s first time taking part in an annual vigil organized by André House of Arizona. (Photo by Samantha Chow/Cronkite News)

LITCHFIELD PARK – On the night before Thanksgiving, 1,500 luminarias lit the pathways of White Tanks Cemetery to honor those buried in Maricopa County’s potter’s field – the final resting place for thousands of indigent and unclaimed for nearly three decades.

Every year, André House of Arizona organizes the candlelight event to remember those who have been buried there since the previous year’s Thanksgiving Eve vigil. Volunteers last week took turns reading the names of 494 people, who were buried by the Maricopa County Public Fiduciary’s Office.

André House of Arizona is a Phoenix nonprofit Christian ministry that aims to help people experiencing homelessness.



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