Families give back to the community on Thanksgiving

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Being grateful and appreciative of all we have is what Thanksgiving is all about. For many families it's also about a good meal and spending time with family and friends.

But not everyone in our community is fortunate enough to have family close by, or being able to afford a turkey for the table.
That's why many local families come together on this day of thanks, to give their company and food to those who need it most.

Dozens of volunteers started their Thanksgiving bright and early at Randy’s restaurant in Eau Claire.

They're delivering meals to nearly 250 people as part of the Meals on Wheels program.

“There are people that are stuck at home that don't get meals or they don't get to go away with their families; fortunately I can have dinner with my family later,” said volunteer Jackie Clifton.

Jackie Clifton, who's been volunteering on Thanksgiving for eight years, says giving back to the community has been a family affair for many years.

“I'm thankful that my family can come here, and we can do this as a family tradition ever year,” said Clifton.

More than 50 drivers showed up to deliver meals to those in need.
First-time volunteer Lowell Munz brought his son and daughter for the first time.

“I thought it would be a great experience to help other,” said Munz 12-year-old son Max.

Things were cooking up at Trinity Luther church in Eau Claire as well.

Event organizers say they've used up all the chairs in the building to sit the record number of 230 reservations made this Thanksgiving.

“Some people are alone on Thanksgiving, so it's a nice place to come for fellowship; others need a good meal,” said volunteer and preschool director with Trinity Lutheran Jeanne Cooper.

The dinner was open to any and all; and has now been going strong for ten years.

“We thought this would be a fun family tradition to start, and we've continued for many years,” said Andy Cooper.

Andy Cooper says he's been volunteering for eight years, with his mom, Jeanne Cooper, and brother Jon.

“It’s an added bonus that you get to help out other people at the same time,” said Jon Cooper.

And now, Andy gets to bring the family of his own.

“Its extra fun to be able to give to the community but do it with your family and that provides a lot of fun family memories,” said Andy Cooper.

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