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Editorial: Providing a helping hand is great way to say 'thanks'

Nov. 21, 2012 @ 10:30 PM

As families gather across the Tri-State today, each will observe its own Thanksgiving traditions.

For many that will include a turkey dinner and snoozing through the Lions-Texans game. Others will be hunting for that elusive buck in the countryside, and some will be planning their attack for Black Friday.

But for a number of volunteers in our area, the holiday is about sharing the day and a hot meal with those who have very little.

That includes a dedicated group that has been working for the past week to prepare for the 73rd annual Thanksgiving Day dinner at Huntington City Mission. Each year, they cook dozens of turkeys and this year the menu also includes green beans, potatoes, gravy, corn, sweet potatoes, cranberry salad and desserts from the members of Steel Memorial Church. The event begins at 3 p.m.

At the Salvation Army, dinner runs from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m., and Major Matt Riley reports that turkeys provided by Forth Foods and all the fixings are being prepared for hundreds of people who might not otherwise have a holiday meal. For many, the fellowship is just as important as the food, Riley said last week.

"We want our guests to come in, be served and feel special," he noted.

There is a reward for the volunteers as well.

"I do it because I feel blessed and I like helping other people," Medora Mayes said while serving turkey at last year's City Mission dinner. "I told my family that I'll make it to our dinner whenever I get done helping here. This is more important."

Their work is a reminder that as we begin this season of giving, there is something that almost every one of us can do.

In the A section of today's edition, check the "Holiday Charities" listing of agencies, organizations and individuals who are working on a range of projects for the holiday season. Some are collecting donations, either cash or goods, to provide those in need the basics, such as food, blankets, clothing and furniture. Others are gathering toys and donations for toys to add some holiday magic for children who would not have a Christmas otherwise.

Also in today's edition, you'll find The Herald-Dispatch's Empty Stockings listing, which details the needs of 100 different families in our region.

Your support for any of these efforts is a good way to show the thankfulness we all feel this time of year.

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