GREENSBURG, Pa. (KDKA) -- A group of local volunteers is getting ready to feed a thousand of their neighbors on Thanksgiving in Greensburg.
Blackout Tinting owner Josh Poponick says he began the meal preparation and distribution event at SonRise Church in Westmoreland County several years ago. At the time, their goal was to provide more than a hundred meals. Poponick says as the event became more popular, the number of people reaching out for assistance grew to 250, and then to 500, finally reaching a thousand this year.
Something this important and this impressive doesn't happen without lots of preparation.
"The past three days, we've been up at 8 in the morning," says Teryl Cation, an employee at Blackout Tinting who is volunteering as a cook. "We were here until 9 last night. We cooked 56 turkeys, stuffing balls, corn, mashed potatoes, homemade gravy. It's a lot."
"I know there's people that are not fortunate to have the food we have at our house," says Cation. "My boss, Josh, wanted to give back and I decided to give my time and my efforts of knowing how to cook to give back to the community."
Regardless of culinary experience, or having any kitchen skills at all, all of the volunteers are connected through outreach, compassion and generosity.
"I love delivering a couple of meals at the end of the event because that's when you really see the impact directly," says Poponick. "We hear a lot of stories as people are calling in, saying they want on the list. People whose husbands might be in the hospital, or they're 98-year-olds and haven't had a Thanksgiving dinner for 15 years because they have no family in the area. So stories like that really reinforce why we are doing this."
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