Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

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November 20, 2012

Anonymous group gives away 300 Thanksgiving dinners

BLOOMING GROVE — Four generations, or about 65 people, gathered Saturday for what is turning into a happy new tradition  — feeding the hungry a Thanksgiving meal.

The family asked that their names not to be used, something the Daily Sun doesn’t normally permit, but it was a good cause.

Four long tables, each more than 25 feet long, were set up in the yard in front of the Salvation Army. At one end, someone would rip into a box of turkeys, handing a frozen bird to the next person in line. From there, the box was sent forward where more volunteers added stuffing mix, cans of vegetables, pie filling and other side dish necessities.

“Grandma” stood at the end of one line, leaning a little on her cane. A medical condition makes it impossible for her lift turkeys and heavy boxes now, but she likes to attend, to watch and encourage.

“We’re giving it from the heart,” she said. Her three daughters have 10 grand-children amongst them, and there are 22 great-grandchildren, she explained. For this event, the entire family gathered from the Fort Worth area primarily, but also from as far away as Maryland. The cost of the food is spread out among the family members, according to grandma.

This was the third year the family has provided and packed Thanksgiving boxes for the needy in Navarro County. The first year, they did 100 boxes, last year it was 200 boxes, and this year it was 300 boxes.

The decision to provide Thanksgiving dinner was a natural, grandma said, gesturing a little towards her healthy-looking brood.

“We thought, ‘what can we do to help this community?’ and there’s nothing like feeding people,” she explained. “They need food to make you feel good about Christmas and Thanksgiving.”

Not all the people volunteering Saturday were family. Some were friends and neighbors who asked to be allowed to help.

“It’s a good work,” said one neighbor. “It’s great to be part of their generosity.”

Seated away from the activity was “grandpa,” who talked with a friend and occasionally offered advice. A former military man, grandpa seemed to appreciate the orderliness of the process.

“We’re just glad we can help,” he said. “I’m very proud of my family, my grandchildren and great-grandchildren.”

Standing off to one side were Sgt. Toby Romack of the Salvation Army and John Baker, chairman of the Salvation Army’s advisory board.

“It’s a wonderful thing,” Baker said. “They’ve even got little kids. They’re teaching the next generation to give.”

One of the great-grandchildren, Shawn, who lives in Euless, brought his fiancee to help pack boxes. After all the packing is done, the family and friends will gather for a big pre-Thanksgiving feast.

“We’re grateful for what we have,” Shawn said. “It’s a blessing to be able to do this.”

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Janet Jacobs may be reached via e-mail at jjacobs@corsicanadailysun.com. Want to “sound off” to this article? E-mail: Soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com

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