Hundreds turn out for community feast in downtown Richmond

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Those less fortunate found good food and good company this holiday.

The sixth annual The Giving Heart Community Thanksgiving Feast brought hundreds to the Greater Richmond Convention Center.

About 800 volunteers served up plates of turkey and ham and all the trimmings.

For some it's their first time, others return year after year to give back.

That's the case for Penny and Paul McPherson.

"Some cranberry."

The couple started volunteering at the community feast three years ago, about the same time their relationship turned a chapter.

"We started when we were engaged and we got married last year and we're continuing to give," said Penny McPherson.
Serving up hot meals to strangers and making new friends along the way.

Dennis Bussey said there's no better way to spend the holiday.

"It is a big deal it's a great deal," said Bussey.
Bussey is also a regular volunteer.

His job this year is to make sure the turkey and trimmings are on the tray headed for the tables.

"And notice everybody got everything ham, turkey, dressing," said Bussey.

This is the sixth year for The Giving Heart Community Thanksgiving Feast.

On this day, there's enough turkey, stuffing, green beans, cranberries and rolls for 2500 people who may otherwise go without.

"It's really quite remarkable, all of Richmond here in one room here all working together doing something that maybe doesn't happen all the time in Richmond," said Bussey.

83 year old Augustine Carter is experiencing the event from a different perspective this year.

(So you volunteered before?), Yes here. (and this year?) "I decided I'm going to treat myself," said Carter.

She enjoys the company.

"I met a lot of nice families last year here too," said Carter.
The McPhersons do too and will leave knowing they've helped give some a better holiday.

"You're so blessed to be able to give back to others it's better to give than receive," said Paul McPherson.g

Guests left with bags of toiletries, food, even shoes and books for children.

The Giving Heart organization said the meals are for the homeless, the elderly and college students who may not be able to make it home for the holiday.

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