Help, hope served at annual Mozel Sanders dinner - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Help, hope served at annual Mozel Sanders dinner

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INDIANAPOLIS -

They did it again. Thousands of volunteers and generous contributors served the Thanksgiving dinners. The Reverend Mozel Sanders started the tradition 42 years ago. The community carries on, giving hope and help to the city's less fortunate.

Of 40,000 meals cooked, dished up, boxed up, and delivered across the city, 4 went to Thomas Perry.  Without them, he had no idea what his family would eat for Thanksgiving. "They are feeding me at a time when I'm hungry," he said, holding two grocery bags filled with dinner. "I don't have anything to fix at this time. It's a great big deal."

It's a huge deal, possible only because of people with loving hands and generous hearts. Most of them labored in the kitchens on the Butler University campus.

The numbers are staggering. 2,000 volunteers, 5,000 pounds of turkey, 2,000 cans of green beans, 80,000 dinner rolls and a lot of other food. 

And what seems like a million smiles. Amy Tavel wore one as she placed servings of turkey into delivery boxes. "I guess it feels nice to give back to the community," she said as she worked. "It feels nice to feel grateful."

A grateful feeling that Chanelle Smartt called amazing. "The fact you can help someone in need that has less than you, you know."

Jay Haslett knows, and he's teaching his daughter. Side by side, they worked in a "bucket line" of volunteers, passing boxes full of meals out the door. "I'm delivering hope," he said. "We're delivering hope to people that need a little hope and help."

For almost ten years, Mike Roberts and his buddies have begun their Thanksgiving mornings cooking tons of green beans.  They work the steaming-hot kitchen caldrons, and said they feel like they are getting more than they are giving.

"The satisfaction of knowing that I was able to do something for somebody that needed it," Mike said with a thoughtful smile. "It's a good feeling."

A feeling shared with thousands of somebodies like Thomas Perry. "Happy Thanksgiving," he said with a smile, as he walked home with bags full of food to share with his family.

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