NEW HAVEN — Thanksgiving may be six months away, but one organization is already gearing up for a holiday dinner where they expect to feed 1,000 people and send them home with holiday meal fixings, toiletries and clothes.

His Divine Will Fellowship Inc. is beginning to prepare for the annual “Day of Joy” by collecting new or gently used sweaters. They are putting out the call now because this month is when so many people are putting away and going through their winter clothes in preparation for summer.

“Before you know it, it will be upon us and there are many people who won’t want to store their sweaters,” for next fall and winter, said Martha Weisbart or Orange, a volunteer for the annual “Day of Joy” in November. “Now is the time.”

The “Day of Joy” event was founded and is led by Brenda Adkins and her husband, John, who are pastor and bishop, respectively, of His Divine Will Fellowship Inc.

Brenda Adkins said she’s already planning the shopping, collecting monetary donations and collecting sweaters as part of the “Keep Thy Brethren Warm” component of the operation. Anyone interested in donating sweaters can call her at 203-802-0747.

Last November they planned on 600 showing up for the day at Wexler-Grant School, but the need is so hig in the community that 829 showed up for the meal, food and clothes, forcing them to run out and buy more food, rather than turn anyone away.

This year the couple want to be prepared to serve 1,000 people, in partnership with Knights of Columbus volunteers and donations.

Asked why she thought so many more than expected showed up, Brenda Adkins said, “I think it’s because people are hungry.”

“We have to fund-raise as much as we can,” she said, noting they have already been collecting donations outside Amity Stop and Shop.

In addition to the meal, they offer clothes, toiletries, shoes and bags of groceries, as well as ham or turkey.

This will be the fifth annual “Day of Joy,” and it is aptly named because it brings “so much joy” to both those who receive and those who volunteer.

“God has blessed us to be able to serve,” Brenda Adkins said.

Weisbart, who is in charge of grants and fundraising, became involved a few years ago when she joined in a sneaker drive to benefit the Adkins’ cause through JCC of Greater New Haven.

Weisbart said she loves the cause because it’s so “grassroots,” and she’s witnessed the delight of the families who come to share a meal together.

Brenda Adkins said she learned by chatting with families at last year’s Day of Joy gathering that there’s a need for boots for men, women and children. New or gently used boots will be the focus of Saturday’s collection, though they also need new socks and toiletries to give away.