LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - In Lufkin, community members hosted their 4th annual Thanksgiving in the Park event Thursday.
Event coordinators Greg Sims and Jason Selmen created this event for people to come together to help feed those in need during the holidays, especially this year during a global pandemic.
Many people came out for Thanksgiving in the Park. Community member Roy Shackle says he has a personal connection to this event.
“For 23 years I was homeless, right here in Lufkin, Texas. I was on drugs badly. A 23-year crack addiction. God and recovery blessed me through,” said Shankle. “I love these types of events, because I know how the homeless and less fortunate people feel, especially on the holidays, not being with family.”
Due to the pandemic, event coordinator Greg Sims says he wasn’t sure whether to expect two people or two hundred people.
“I absolutely felt like it was an even bigger concern this year, because I know there was a couple places that did Thanksgiving dinner last year and are not this year. But the people still need a place to come to, need a place to eat,” said Sims.
Volunteers were on hand to help serve.
For others that may not otherwise have a hot meal or have family, they can come and get a hot meal,” said volunteer Paula Campbell.
Campbell says this is her second year volunteering.
“It is just me and my husband. So, we just wanted to come and help serve. It’s nothing but joy to serve others,” said Campbell.
They provided plenty of food, clothing, and personal hygiene items for people to take home.
“So, I look at this as the conduit to be able to open up to give people a chance to come out and be a part of something that’s bigger than themselves. To kind of bring back the true meaning of Thanksgiving. To show, give back to others that don’t have what you have,” said Sims.
Sims encourages the community to find a way to give to those less fortune than you this holiday season.