Non-profit feeds Wilmington homeless veterans Christmas dinner

Homeless Veterans Food
Paddle 4 Troops feeds homeless veterans at the Sergeant Eugene Ashley Memorial Center in Wilmington (Photo: Sydney Bouchelle/WWAY)

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A Surf City non-profit held a special dinner on Wednesday to show gratitude to homeless veterans in the Cape Fear.

Paddle 4 Troops is focused on helping veterans, active military, and their families during hard times.

On Wednesday night, the organization fed the homeless veterans in the transitional housing at the Sergeant Eugene Ashley Memorial Center in Wilmington a Christmas dinner.

The dinner was made up of appetizers, steaks, lobster tails, baked potatoes, and other sides. In addition to the meal, each veteran got a backpack filled with items on their Christmas lists.

The night was made possible by a donation from Ed Wilbanks with Island Breeze HVAC. Each year, Paddle 4 Troops hosts a live auction and one of the items for bid is a private dinner for six. Wilbanks placed the winning bid of $10,000. When Paddle 4 Troops Founder Dwight Torres called him to schedule the event, Wilbanks told Torres he “knew what to do.”

Torres says being able to give back means everything.

“We pray with them before the dinner as you saw this evening, we gave them the gifts, and to see the smiling faces…something so small can go so long, especially in the difficult time they’re experiencing. We just remind them that they’re worth it, that they’re important to us, and we’re just happy to do it.”

For more information on Paddle 4 Troops, visit their website.


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