Local Residents Volunteering on Thanksgiving Day

Contributor: Nick Patrick
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Updated: 11/28/2013 7:54 pm
For those living away from family and who are unable to travel, this Thanksgiving there was another option. Carolyn Cunningham, a Gulfport resident, says, "I feel like a queen because they treat everybody so good." Cunningham moved to Gulfport from Kentucky two years ago and has attended the Thanksgiving dinner at the American Legion in Bay St. Louis ever since. Cunningham says, "I started playing bingo and those kinds of things and I met Miss Sally and she was the first one to invite me over for Thanksgiving dinner." Sally Kelly is one of the family members that started the event 28 years ago and continues to sponsor it. She says, "People have been coming here for 13 to 14 years and it’s not just for the needy, it’s for anyone who buys at Walmart or grocery stores. It's a place that gives back to the community." It’s your standard Thanksgiving dinner. There’s turkey, mashed potatoes, and even some pumpkin pie. It may be a little bit of a different setting, but people are out to enjoy it. Kelly says, "We just have a good time, have a lot of fun. My son-in-law is singing and my grandson is playing the guitar and it’s just a family tradition." This family tradition is finding new volunteers every year. Rendon Martin, a first time volunteer, says, "Well, we really didn’t have a family plan, so we decided to come over here and serve meals to people in the community." The Kelly family tells News 25 that without the volunteers and donations from local merchants, the event would not be possible.
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