WILMINGTON -- For many of us Thanksgiving is about food and family. In Wilmington, it's also about providing for those who don't have either. On Thanksgiving we should never underestimate the value of a good meal and good company. This time last year Good Shepherd Center resident Hunter Guess was close to rock bottom. He said, "My girlfriend and I split up and I had some rough times." A recovering alcoholic, Guess had no place to go for Thanksgiving. But he was welcomed in by a local group that made sure he had food and company for the holiday. They were just real nice," Guess said. "It was like you were a paying customer. Made you feel like at home type thing." Good Shepherd executive director Katrina Knight said, "The holidays can be an especially wonderful time if you're with your family in a safe and nurturing place. It can also be a really devastating time if you are experiencing a crisis." At Thanksgiving local charities and soup kitchens face the challenge of having enough resources to make everyone feel welcome. But in Wilmington, Knight says the community is always quick to pitch in. Local schools and congregations organize food and clothing drives. Families invite strangers to their tables. And people like Good Shepherd Center cook Lowell Warnecke take time to prepare meals and make sure no one goes hungry. Warnecke said, "It's love your neighbor. None of these folks have to be here. They all want to be here. And everyone you see in the kitchen, they're here to do it. They roll their sleeves up, they get the job done." Guess said, "It just makes it so where you can get by and get back on your feet again." Thursday night some volunteers will spend their Thanksgiving at the Good Shepherd Center cooking a meal for over 100 people.
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