Thousands file into the River Center to celebrate turkey day with the community

Thousands file into the River Center to celebrate turkey day with the community
Photo provided by staff.
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Thursday, November 28, 2013 - 5:54pm

An annual tradition kicked off this morning at the River Center. It’s a tradition where hundreds of people volunteer and over a thousand come out to enjoy a holiday meal.

The Holiday Helpers are there to help those who need it the most.

Turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes and of course all the other trimmings are what make up a traditional thanksgiving meal.

The Christian family is enjoying it together, all thanks to the Holiday Helpers.

“It means a lot to me that they are doing this as a community and everyone is together and showing so much love," said Elaine Christian.

But this huge production would not be possible without those volunteers, over four hundred to be exact.

It’s something we have thought about doing fro several years,” said volunteer Gary Graphia. “So we thought it was the perfect opportunity to skip the meal at home and come out here and volunteer."

Not only are they volunteering to help those in need, it's much more.

"I think its important especially for the kids to understand that there are people in the country and in our city in particular that need help and support and we can afford to give back."

Even college students gave up what some call "friends giving" to be here.

“I’m a college student away from home so this is a way to be with family and friends at the same time," said volunteer, Joshua McDonald.

And children were all hands on deck to give thanks and give back at the same time.

"Some people don't have the kind of stuff you have because they are going though hard times and they need help," said Volunteer, Mia Patin.

Holiday Helpers have been giving back for over a decade.

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