Man Eats Only Meal on Thanksgiving Thanks to Salvation Army Volunteers

By: Elizabeth Lamb Email
By: Elizabeth Lamb Email

HARRISONBURG, Va -- Wilson Cook ate his only meal on Thanksgiving thanks to the volunteers who worked at the Salvation Army.

“I'm thankful for this meal we have here today. I bless everybody who's here today. I hope everybody's enjoying themselves,” said Cook.

Salvation Army workers expected to feed about 700 people this Thanksgiving, just in Harrisonburg alone. They accomplished that thanks to help from volunteers, like Rodney Hildebrand. Hildebrand and his wife volunteered for the first time on Thanksgiving.

“It's just good to be able to see other people and help other people. I didn't know a whole lot of people, but suddenly all of us feel like family here, the people working and serving here today. We're joking around, just having a good time,” said Hildebrand.

Most of the food served on Thursday was donated, including 75 turkeys. The rest of the food was paid for by the Salvation Army's Red Kettle Fund, which funds the Salvation Army throughout the rest of the year.

Cook knows what it is like to go without eating a meal and he was thankful for the volunteers who made it possible for people like him to have a hot meal on Thanksgiving.

“I'm thankful they donated their time and everything else they've provided us today and for everything they've given us. They're helping a lot of people in our time of need,” said Cook.

Cook visited the Salvation Army with his friend and made more friends by the time he left.

“I'm thankful for our time on this earth, and the good Lord gives us meals to enjoy. I bless other people who got their meal here to enjoy, too...Enjoy the time we have on this earth, and hope we have many more Thanksgivings.”

The Salvation army expected to feed more people this year than last Thanksgiving and about 70 volunteers helped to serve food.

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