For nearly two decades, Sarah Wood has provided her Ohio community with a free Thanksgiving meal — something she said she knows would make her late daughter proud.
“Michelle, which is my daughter who perished in a fire in 1990 … I keep thinking, you know, what it would mean to her and what it would mean to my family,” Wood told WCMH.
On a Facebook page for the annual dinner in Mount Vernon, Wood has shared a photo of her young daughter smiling in a red dress. And in Michelle’s honor, Wood has worked with a group of volunteers for 18 years to provide an annual Thanksgiving feast for more than 500 people, according to the station.
“To me, it is huge that you can feed this many people in one day,” Wood told WCMH. “I mean, it’s just fantastic. These are the plates we will be serving people and we actually got new plates this year and I am ecstatic about that, real silverware — we do try to keep it as homey as possible.”
The dinner will be held this Wednesday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. local time, and Wood presents the meal as a “free dinner for those who will be alone on Thanksgiving.”
“Also want to invite anyone who would otherwise not have a nice home cooked dinner for Thanksgiving,” the Facebook page states. “We all have so much to be thankful for.”
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The dinner relies on volunteers and donations, but Wood told WCMH that they manage to pull it off each year. She told the station last week that she and the group needed 250 pounds of potatoes — but she isn’t too worried.
“God has blessed us more than you can possibly imagine every year,” Wood said. “There’s been years at 2 a.m., we haven’t had enough turkeys, but all of a sudden someone messages me and says, ‘Hey I’ve got two turkeys.’ So, that part God takes care of.”
Wood isn’t the only one providing strangers with Thanksgiving meals this year. In Melrose, Massachusetts, Scott Macaulay is preparing for his 33rd year of inviting anyone and everyone to enjoy a free meal with him at Melrose’s Green Street Baptist Church.
“I’m not the greatest cook. I try, but it’s a place to go,” Macaulay told WFXT. “There are a lot of places that provide Thanksgiving dinner to a home and that’s wonderful but I’m trying to avoid someone sitting by themselves.”
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