NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Volunteers and workers with the Salvation Army made sure those struggling with homelessness or food insecurity got some turkey and all the sides this Thanksgiving in Norfolk.
They served hot meals on Thursday at the Men’s Shelter in Norfolk. For many of them, like Justin Sipe, it’s a welcomed way to give back.
“I have a huge family and I love my family to death, but I really have a good time just being over here and helping,” he said. “It’s a different kind of good feeling than a lot of things and these people really appreciate it. The people that come in the doors and the volunteers that’re here all year.”
At least 20 people came in for a hot Thanksgiving meal this morning.
For Michael Alston, who now works with the Salvation Army, he sees a lot of himself in the men and women who come into the shelter.
“Not too many years ago, this was me. I was homeless and strung out on drugs and alcohol and God came into my life and has changed my life,” he said. “I believe that when these types of things happen, you get an opportunity to help. When you’ve hurt much, you want to help much.”
Now he uses his time to give back and help the people who helped him get his life on track.
“It gives you an opportunity to say, ‘You know what? I’m very well off. Things are fine with me and my family and my kids. Let me and my family and my kids go out and be assistance and a help,’” he said.
Regardless of why someone may come, those we spoke to say they’re happy to continue to help, all in the spirit of the holiday season.
“I think it’s good to go out and serve and when you go out and come somewhere like this and you see some of these guys and we even have families come in,” said Sipe. “They’re just down on their luck.”
Alston says there’s always a chance for someone to help.
“There is hope. Regardless of the situations and circumstances, there’s still hope and there’s a better way,” said Alston. “Because it’s this way today doesn’t mean that it’s going to continue.”
The Salvation Army also serves up meals to those in need in the community on Christmas and are looking for volunteers.