Thanksgiving can be the start to a very difficult time of year for many Americans. What is supposed to be the season of giving, of family, and of unity, can be a reality of isolation and darkness. Here at our Fight the War Within Foundation family, we wanted to find a way to make an impact in the Savannah area on this day. The deeper that we got into planning the event, the more I began to see how close of a family has begun to form here in the Savannah area. The Elks Lodge #183 was beyond hospitable in making this happen for us.
This blog is the inside eye from the event and all of the incredible people that made it possible.
From the get-go, Tressa Powers-Bunner and her wife Haley stepped up to the plate of the mission, without missing a beat. They took the lead on tracking down volunteers and organizing everything we needed to make the dinner happen. We set a goal to serve 100 veterans and their families dinner for Thanksgiving, and we are proud to say that we ended up with over 175 meals by the end of the night.
Miss Nancy Hankinson and her parents made some delicious dressing. Even though they couldn’t all attend in person, we are blessed for their thoughtfulness! Angelica Cutting dropped off incredible macaroni and cheese and cheesecake, an anonymous donor dropped off 8 turkeys along with green beans, rice, and corn, and Ed Gizara and his wife Lorrie spent countless hours prepping the Elks Lodge and making desserts. Maureen McDermott and her awesome roommates Justin and Josh made over 140 deviled eggs that were to die for! To top it all off, Buddy Watch Walk and their entire crew joined us from their 600+ mile venture from Mississippi to Tybee for the evening, and they were not shy to jump in and get the food ready to serve.
By the end of the night, we were all stuffed and ready to take a long nap. With so many leftovers, we began brainstorming ideas for where we should donate it to. Then, the idea hit like a brick. We loaded up 30 meals and ran over to Hunter Army Airfield to drop them off to staff duty and CQ servicemembers. The next morning, we all met back up at the Elks Lodge and loaded up nearly 80 additional meals and went back to Hunter to drop off the rest.
Needless to say, we have been blessed beyond measure for the support we have been given by our community of warriors. Whether located in the Savannah area or otherwise, people have continued to come forward that want to be involved in the veteran community. If you are reading this today and feel the calling to link up with other warriors in your area, reach out! There are organizations around the nation that are making waves with the work they are doing.
Regardless of your background or story, you are a warrior and you have a family with Fight the War Within Foundation. We are most thankful, above all else, for you and for your strength to continue on.
Fight on, warriors.