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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas City nonprofit ensures everyone gets a proper Thanksgiving meal.

Volunteers at the Shelter KC served dozens of meals Thursday night with help from the Chrisitan Tabernacle Church of God and Christ. 

Verma Brown helped make the meals, all of which are homemade. She’s been coming to the shelter for the last 13 Thanksgiving and is responsible for members of her congregation joining her this year. In the past years, Brown’s brought her family to volunteer at the shelter on Thanksgiving not just to give back, but to encourage others who are in a tough situation.

“I am here because I once was in this spot, and I want to give back to our community,” Brown said.

Volunteering is now a family affair for Brown. Her two young grandsons, Arri and Anthony, helped give out meals, and they appeared to have inherited their grandmother’s giving spirit.

“It makes me feel good giving this all to them,” said older brother Arri. 

“Helping people makes me feel happy. Seeing the smiles on people’s faces when they get to eat the food,” added the younger Anthony.”

Ninety-two people from the men’s and women’s shelter got to share a Thanksgiving meal on Thursday. Shelter KC holds a special weeklong “Celebration of Thanks” for those utilizing its services every Thanksgiving.

Starting Monday and ending Saturday, roughly 100 volunteers from 5 churches are helping to create 1,200-1,300 meals for men’s and women’s shelters. Each night features a different protein, with turkey being king on Thursday.

Anthony Cox has been at Shelter KC for 5 months after becoming homeless in January. While he’s getting his life back on track, he said he’s thankful for volunteers like Brown.

“A lot of us aren’t with our families, so we wouldn’t have had a special day like this if it wasn’t for volunteers coming in and helping us out and making this a special day. It’s great,” Brown said.

The shelter is centered around the belief that the love of Jesus Christ changes lives, something Brown hopes is evident not just through the volunteers but her meals, too.

“It’s not just a meal. It’s the love I’m giving them as well to encourage them that they can make it hopefully,” Brown said. “I want them to know that God is on the throne and that He has not forgotten them.”

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