Hundreds Benefit From Free Thanksgiving Meals

By: Matt Holmes Email
By: Matt Holmes Email

Thursday November 22, 2007

The Salvation Army did it. Meals on Wheels did it. Even the folks at the Cherry Avenue Diner did it.

Local organizations lining up volunteers to help give free meals to the needy this Thanksgiving.

"That's the Salvation Army theme and core value: make sure you're fed. Don't be afraid. There is food here downtown," says Volunteer Coordinator Jim Hart.

Charlottesville's Salvation Army fed about 250 people Thursday, including Anthony Jones, who says receiving a meal around the holidays makes it extra special.

"These people, they don't have to do this," Jones said while picking through a salad. "They do this out of the goodness of their heart. They have families too, you know, so they do this for their own goodness."

While those receiving the meal showed their appreciation, the volunteers got some enjoyment as well.

"I get to meet new people and make new friends," explains eight-year-old Cate Roesch.

But while the Salvation Army receives food and monetary donations for its mission, things are a bit different over on Cherry Avenue.

Tony Massey invited folks to come down to his restaurant for Thanksgiving lunch and it was all at his expense.

"It's not about the money, it's about just helping people out," Massey proclaims. "Whether I can afford it or not, it's just about helping people out."

And in helping out a lot of people, were they worried about running out of turkey?

"To feed 150 people, hey, if we have to we'll go put some bacon on the grill, you know what I'm saying? As long as everybody's happy today."

And that's the attitude that really does epitomize the spirit of Thanksgiving.

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