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Donations to KDKA-TV Turkey Fund help those who rely on food banks

Donations to KDKA-TV Turkey Fund help those who rely on food banks
Donations to KDKA-TV Turkey Fund help those who rely on food banks 03:42

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- We're now a month into the 42nd annual KDKA-TV Turkey Fund, and just four weeks away from Thanksgiving.

There are so many people in our area who depend on their local food pantries week after week, and it's your donations to the Turkey Fund that help them have a wonderful dinner on Thanksgiving.

Brian Piatt from Butler is one of those people.

"Like some Americans right now, we're going through some hard times. The place I worked at, the work dried up. I didn't have any work for about three weeks, and I was down to no food in my house. I had nothing left but a cracker and a piece of hard cheese," said Piatt.

That's when somebody told him about The Lighthouse Foundation's food pantry in Valencia.

"I was kind of scared to come, like a lot of people. I didn't want anybody to know I was having troubles. But my hunger overruled my pride, and so I came to The Lighthouse. I couldn't believe the kindness of the people here and how easy the system was to get the food the first time. Thank goodness for places like this where there is help available," said Piatt.

And he wants other people who are in the same boat as him to hear this message.

"You're not by yourself. A lot of times in our mind we think nobody's ever went through this before. There's millions of people who've went through this before. Like a lot of people, you have stability when you work and you feel good about yourself. So the work stops, now you feel bad about yourself. You're ashamed. You don't want anybody to know how bad you're hurting. So you kind of just shut down. And it's not that the people are bad people. It's not that they're lazy. It's not that they're not worthy of help. But it's like you get so ashamed that you just don't know what to do," said Piatt.

But he says there's always hope.

"Everything's not going to get changed in a day, but you have to start somewhere. It's like that old saying 'How does an ant eat a hay bale? He eats it one bite at a time.' So you have to start somewhere," said Piatt.

For him, that place is The Lighthouse.

"This place is priceless. It's like a treasure. A lighthouse for a sailor is a beacon of hope, security and safety. And that's what this place is here. I told them probably the second time I came here, I said 'you guys are keeping me alive,'" said Piatt.

He added, "If people were honest with each other, there's not one of us in this life that is not facing something that we didn't want to face. And some people hide it better than others. Get to a place where you don't care what people think. Set your pride aside. Set the stigma aside. You're not alone. Don't be ashamed. Just because something bad happened to you doesn't mean you're a bad person. It doesn't mean that you're weak. It doesn't mean that you're lazy. You're still loved and you're still who you are whether you have a million dollars or you have 10 cents in your pocket. You're still who you are. So don't let a bad time destroy you. Because bad times come to everybody and you'll get through."

Piatt is strong in his faith and says he believes in the power of prayer, but admits prayer is nothing without action.

"It's one thing to pray for people, but it's another thing to have the honor to give food to somebody that doesn't have any. And I can't wait to volunteer here. I started a new job two weeks ago. I'm working swing shift, and as soon as I can get my body acclimated, you're going to see me as a volunteer here, and it'll be an honor to do it," said Piatt.

And now is your chance to help Piatt and so many other local people just like him, by giving to the KDKA-TV Turkey Fund.

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