Young Salvation Army volunteers share the “spirit of Thanksgiving”

NORTH KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- On a balmy Thanksgiving Day, 8-year-old Tyler Orr could have been at home relaxing, playing video games or just hanging out with his friends."

But the second-grader from Maplewood Elementary School in North Kansas City delivered a holiday meal to a grandma, who might otherwise go hungry on Thanksgiving.

“I really like it. I mean you can’t really enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner unless you help other people," Tyler says.

Darius Norrington, who is just 9 years old, also had his hands full with two plastic bags filled with meals.

“This is my first year doing this and I’m excited to help because people don’t have food and they’re homeless sometimes,” says a smiling Darius.

Darius and Tyler are Salvation Army volunteers. With their parents by their sides, both boys delivered Thanksgiving meals Thursday to area seniors, people with physical challenges and needy families.

“It makes me feel proud," Darius Norrington says.

“It just means the world to me and I just like to help them out any way possible,” says 12-year-old Lucas Barta, a Blue Valley Middle School seventh grader.

A Salvation Army tradition, that for decades has taught kids the importance of volunteering and helping others, is still touching lives one meal, one smile, one hug at a time.

“You’re never too young. Never too old. We have some folks who’ve been doing it for 40 years. We try to reach the kids early. Everybody seems to just really enjoy the opportunity to give back on the day of Thanksgiving,” says Judy Tekautz, who’s with the Kansas City Salvation Army.