SHARON, Pa. (WYTV) – For the first time in three decades, the Salvation Army in Sharon was unable to host a traditional Thanksgiving Day meal, but long-time volunteers still found a way to help out.
Volunteers at the Salvation Army spent their Thursday morning packing up and delivering meals to people who otherwise might not have had a Thanksgiving Day dinner.
“This is one of the most wonderful things I think people can do for each other, to keep everybody safe,” said recipient Kenny Johnson.
An annual tradition…
“My fourth year coming. I come with my grandma,” said volunteer Emily Schlegel.
…with a 2020 twist.
“Normally, we would have about 300 or so meals inside of our facility here, and we deliver another 600 or so. About 1,000 meals normally year, but we just couldn’t do that this year,” said Capt. David Childs, with the Salvation Army. “We scaled way down and we targeted those who are senior citizens and shut-ins.”
On Thursday, the Salvation Army in Sharon sent out 400 meals, targeting those who might need a little extra holiday cheer the most.
“We figure with the pandemic they are the ones who are hurting the most. They’ve been isolated and lonely nine months now. We wanted to make sure at least on Thanksgiving we could share some joy,” Childs said.
We tagged along on some of the drop-offs…
“My dad started this tradition when I was about 12 years old. I’ve been doing it I guess 28 years now. Bringing my kids along means a lot to me,” said volunteer driver Andrew Gelesky.
…where we met Johnson.
“I usually volunteer at the Salvation Army on Thanksgiving morning, but they told me don’t come in this year,” he said.
Johnson says the best thing for him is to stay home and stay safe this year, but he’s glad that someone stopped by to make sure he has a happy Thanksgiving.
“Makes me very happy. Brightens my day, brightens my year,” he said.