Giving Thanks By Giving Back

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There's no shortage of opportunities to shop this weekend including several stores opening Thanksgiving morning, but thankfully, plenty of people will delay the shopping sprees long enough to help those in need this holiday.

It takes dozens of volunteers and months of planning to put together the Salvation Army's annual Turkey Fest. What started with 300 meals 21 years ago now includes 1,550 meals delivered to those in need. Most of the recipients are homebound seniors.

Recipient Bob Schappert accepts the meal graciously every year. "When people do things like that they're doing it from their hearts," he told us, referring to the volunteers. "I would say thanks and want them to know we're praying for them and giving thanks to the Lord for their love and their goodness."

Faith is at the center of the annual Thanksgiving tradition at St. Peter Catholic Church on Leavenworth as well. Volunteer Lauren Bopp says, "There's probably a waiting list to come help. Everyone that's here is just thrilled to do this."

15-year-old TJ Engelkamp told us it's inspiring to be part of the service saying, "I feel like it's my duty to help out the poor."

The St. Peter crew anticipates more than 400 people will come for their free meal offered from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Thursday.

More than 150 people will deliver the meals being prepared inside the Salvation Army's Kroc Center kitchen. The meal is made up of 55 turkeys and more than 30 gallons of gravy.

The enormous task is viewed as an opportunity, even for those whose work schedule requires them to be present.

"It's good to give food to people who can't come out and get it themselves," said Kroc's Executive Chef Kevin Newlin. "Being a chef it's about putting out good food so we enjoy it."


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