Volunteers serve the community on Thanksgiving

Volunteers serve the community on Thanksgiving

RALEIGH, N.C. — Since the pandemic, volunteers are back in numbers in their communities and out on the streets, giving their time to make sure that people in need have a happy Thanksgiving.

What You Need To Know

  • Dozens of volunteers showed up to serve hot food to families at the Helping Hand Mission
  • Shirley Harris is volunteering for the first time, preparing meal boxes
  • The mission gave out more than 150 turkeys in an effort to ensure that everyone could enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday

It was all hands on deck Wednesday at the Helping Hand Mission, where dozens of volunteers, young and old, showed up to prepare meal boxes and serve hot food.

Shirley Harris is a first-time volunteer.

“I’m a giver, and I believe in giving,” Harris said. “This is the time that we give thanks to the people less fortunate than we are. I think this is so exciting. And I am very happy to be amongst this, and giving out food, and just volunteer.”

The meal boxes include fresh produce such as collard greens and sweet potatoes, canned goods and delicious home-made apple pies. Harris knows that some families are struggling amid rising inflation.

“Lot of people that couldn’t get out, didn’t have the money to go grocery shopping with it. And we’re here to provide it for you.”

The Helping Hand Mission has been serving the community for 40 years.

Christopher Swinnie, who has been volunteering for 15 years, likes to give back at Thanksgiving. Last year, due to COVID-19 concerns, they had a drive-through to hand out food to those in need.

“The difference of this year is that now they can come back,” Swinnie said. “And we can feed them with hot food, and give them a box with a turkey and other stuff to eat for Thanksgiving.”

Donations have been pouring in from grocery stores, charities and community members. The mission gave out more than 150 turkeys in an effort to make sure that everyone was able to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday.

Harris says Christmas came early this year, with the spirit of giving all around her.

The Helping Hand Mission is run by Sylvia Wiggins. She says the turnout this Thanksgiving has renewed her faith in humanity.

“When you see stuff going all around the states,” she said, referring to the Waukesha, Wisconsin, parade crash Sunday that killed six. “To see people getting together in a happy tone, it just means so much to me.”

“Even with all the problems we got, people still care, people still love one another, and people just wanna see other people happy,” Wiggins said.

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