Thousands enjoy Richmond’s largest Thanksgiving feast

Richmond, VA (WRIC) — Thousands of people united in Richmond for the area’s largest Thanksgiving feast on Thursday

The Giving Heart Foundation organized the event, which is in its tenth year. People lined up early to get their holiday meal.

“I just want to have Thanksgiving dinner,” said disabled veteran Edward Woodson.

But he maintained while the the food was great, the company was even better.

“To be around friends is a big help, because most of the time I’m by myself, you know, so it’s good to be around somebody,” added Woodson.

Added Earicll Royster, “this has been a marvelous day because I enjoy this Thanksgiving feast and I’m enjoying the people that serve.{”

Guests enjoyed traditional Thanksgiving fixings in a festively decorated space at the Richmond Convention Center. After their meal, they had the option of going to the clothes closet which provided free clothing for those who need it most.

Veteran Donnie Griffith used to be homeless. He’s still trying to get back on his feet and appreciates this annual event.

“There’s a lot of other things that goes on in places like this, support services and stuff like that, so you know it’s a really nice place to come and enjoy your holiday,” explained Griffith.

When this event started ten years ago, there were just four volunteers. But this year more than 800 donated their time to serve up a day of food and fellowship.

“There is really no other place I’d rather be,” insisted volunteer Rusty Colyer.

He has worked the event since it began in 2005.

“It’s the fellowship. It’s new friends. It’s seeing people from last year. It’s just an awesome feeling, you know,” said Griffith.

Volunteer Tricia Wherry explained, “There’s so many people out on the streets, so many people that don’t have a family or a place to go on Thanksgiving day or on a holiday and this is just a warm environment to come in and talk to people and have a great social atmosphere as well.”

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