Mobile Meals recipients, volunteers give thanks for one another

Mobile Meals recipients, volunteers give thanks for one another

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Cars and coolers lined up outside Mobile Meals headquarters on Thanksgiving. Cars and coolers lined up outside Mobile Meals headquarters on Thanksgiving.
Volunteers fill coolers for meal delivery. Volunteers fill coolers for meal delivery.
The Howard family delivers a meal to Roosevelt Welker. The Howard family delivers a meal to Roosevelt Welker.
Welker is thankful for the food and the visitors. Welker is thankful for the food and the visitors.
The Howard family made time to give back this holiday. The Howard family made time to give back this holiday.

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - While many are gathering in the kitchen and around the table this Thanksgiving, some took the day to give back.

Bridgett and Bryan Howard aren't your typical volunteers. They are actually on vacation. The couple from Idaho are visiting relatives in Knoxville for the holiday.

Thanksgiving morning, the Howards brought their two daughters and cousins to help deliver holiday meals to about one dozen seniors.

"It's important for the kids to understand what thanksgiving is about. Taking care of our community; of other people who can't necessarily cook for themselves or be with their family today," said Bryan Howard.

The Howards are a few of the army of volunteers that helped to deliver hot Thanksgiving meals for around 500 seniors through Mobile Meals.  

Mobile Meals organizers say so many people wanted to deliver meals on Thanksgiving, they had turn away volunteers.

"It's just an outpouring a love. People really want to help Mobile Meals and we really appreciate their help," said Sharon Long with Mobile Meals.

Roosevelt Welker, an 88-year-old meal recipient, says he will be at his East Knoxville home, spending the day like many of us do on Thanksgiving, watching football. 

Unlike many, however, Welker can't cook anymore and is alone, but for a few minutes Thanksgiving morning, Welker had some visitors who delivered him a ham dinner. It's a hot meal and camaraderie that he's relied on for several years.  

"I haven't had a bad caregiver. Some of them I miss when they don't come, because you get to know them personally," Welker said.    

Volunteers are happy for the camaraderie, too. They say it's part of the reason why they help.

The Howard family feels that way.

"It means something to take a couple of extra moments to talk with them when you're delivering the meal to them. To ask them how they're doing. Just chat with them."  

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