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ONLY ON 3: OIB store manager's generosity served up for all to share

READ MORE: ONLY ON 3: OIB store manager's generosity served up for all to share
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OCEAN ISLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) -- Sometimes simple things can be so much more. One humble woman has turned a gas station into a second home for many in Ocean Isle Beach.

To most, the Minuteman #14 in Ocean Isle Beach just looks like a place to gas up your truck, but on one day out of the year, it's somewhere you can come to get fuel for your heart. And get this: it's all for free.

"It's like home, really," customer Wayne Taylor said. "Everybody's like brothers and sisters here, mom and dads. Everybody knows everybody, and it's just like good ol' country."

And for the past four years, store manager Betty Brown has made a good ol' country Christmas dinner.

"It started out the first year with three turkeys, two hams and the fixin's," Brown said. "This year is nine turkeys, seven hams, two pork loins and a case of green beans, sweet potatoes and dressing."

She invites all her customers and the community. Brown funds the growing feast by collecting cans throughout the year. As her Christmas gift, her husband pays for whatever the cans don't cover.

Brown said she doesn't need a thing, and her only Christmas wish is for the community to be together.

"Don't matter where you come from, what kind of work you do," Taylor said. "She takes you in just like you was her own child."

Brown's own child Jay e-mailed us all the way from his home in Nebraska to tell us about his mother's generosity.

"My mom has the heart of a giant and always puts others before herself," he wrote. "Despite my father being diagnosed with bladder cancer and her with diabetes, she does not ask for anything in return... They are certainly my heroes."

Her real family and her extended family love her and her cooking.

"It takes a community to grow a child," Betty Brown said. "It takes a community to be a family. That's it."

And thanks to Betty, this community is a family... at least one day a year.

Brown never asks for money and does not accept donations either. If you'd like to help, all she asks is that you bring a few cans to raise money for next year's dinner.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

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With Much Appreciation!

Thank you so much to the crew of WWAY3 TV for covering such a phenomenal story! Betty Brown is my mother-in-law and words cannot express my gratitude and pride I feel for her self-less act of generosity. I appreciate the coverage even though recognition for her feat of heroism was not on Betty’s agenda. Betty has always had a big heart and open arms to her family and friends. When she first told me about the holiday dinner, I thought, ‘what a great way to say thank you to her communal family and friends.’ Here we are a few years later and all I can say is 'WOW'! Betty you are amazing and I am proud to call you MOM! It takes a strong partner and friend to keep up with a ‘high-octane’ person like Betty; so a big ‘Thank You’ to Tom Brown, or as I like to call him- DAD! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you both! We love you and miss you everyday.

Rhonda Brown
Prague, Nebraska

Thank you and Merry Christmas to all!!

I would like to take a moment to say thank you to the WWAY TV 3 crew for a great story and coverage on my mom’s generosity. Although my mom, Betty Brown, is not too happy with me for my submission to the Station, I must say that I am. It was really nice to finally get to see what she so proudly tells me about every year. I don’t visit enough with the miles between us, but I try to call her daily. I also want to thank her community and friends, “her Family”, in Ocean Isle for all you do. She loves you all! I am so proud of her everyday. She has taught me so much over the years, not to mention, how to be a better person, despite our geographical separation. So, Mom, thank you for being a great Mother and one of my best friend’s! I love both, “Whole Biggie Bunches”, Merry Christmas to you, Dad, and your extended family out there!

Jay Brown
Prague, NE