The Giving Heart makes sure everyone is full and happy on Thanksgiving

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — For the past 11 years, The Giving Heart has been making sure everyone gets a chance to be full and happy on Thanksgiving.

52eaba0e579842cb8022dcb5b6af6f46With meal preps underway to feed 3,000 people, volunteers say it feels good to be involved.

“It’s really exciting, I’ve been looking forward to doing it for a very long time now. It’s just giving back,” volunteer Jovanni Alexander told 8News.

“I’m just thankful I’m here, I’m excited,” another volunteer, Kimberly Banks, said. “We’re getting ready to prepare for tomorrow, and Happy Thanksgiving everyone!”


Dinner is not all to expect tomorrow, though. There’s also a distribution center where members of boy scout troop 715 are helping to fill bags with toiletries and clothes. And they didn’t seem to mind sacrificing a day off to help others.

“I think our whole troop enjoys it because it’s a way of instead of thinking, ‘hey, this is what I can get out of my break,’ it’s kind of a way of saying ‘hey, this is how I can help out my community.’ And, as boy scouts, it’s something we like to do.”

f32f714af93a4d5fa86de0e82a06e68dAnother troop member, Jackson Tomlin, added,  “It feels good to help other people. I like to do that a lot. I don’t know why, it’s just my thing.”

DTLR stepped in to donate clothes, just one of many corporate sponsors for The Giving Heart’s Thanksgiving Day feast, where everyone is invited.

Vicki Neilson, The Giving Heart’s Founding and Executive Director, says she’s moved by all the support.

“I get so excited about it. You know, no matter how tired you are, you just know that everyone’s here, they’re enthusiastic and you couldn’t ask for a better group of people.”

Doors will open for Thursday’s Thanksgiving Day feast at the Richmond Convention Center at 9 a.m. Dinner will be served at 11.

If you need a ride, GRTC will be offering a free shuttle service starting at 9 a.m.

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