Independence volunteers to provide 200 people with a Thanksgiving meal

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. – If the response to a Facebook post is any indication, the holiday spirit is alive and well in the metro.

A recent post on the “Independence Missouri Community Awareness” Facebook page asked anyone who needed assistance for Thanksgiving to post a message and someone could respond to help.

For numerous families, the effort led to Thanksgiving coming true this year.

“It's hard. I'm a single mom with three girls,” explained Penny Hicks, who lives in Independence. “Especially at the end of the month, we just don't have much left for food." 

As a mother, Hicks wanted to make the holiday special for her children this year.

However, she knew buying all the ingredients for a Thanksgiving feast would be a challenge.

“Just seeing how upset she (her daughter) was and knowing that we weren't going to have a Thanksgiving dinner, I couldn't not ask for help,” she explained. “After talking to my daughter last night, I had to make her happy."

Hicks decided to reach out to organizers for the Thanksgiving assistance effort and would end up seeing firsthand the generosity here in the metro.

Timothy McEnroe was joined by a team of other good neighbors Wednesday evening at Price Chopper to buy holiday items for needy families.

The group bought turkeys, side items, desserts, and a whole list of groceries to make sure Thanksgiving would come true to anyone asking for assistance.

“We just try to get food for people who wouldn't have it,” McEnroe explained. “We want to feed people who would otherwise miss out."

McEnroe has helped lead similar efforts in recent years to help out friends in need.

However, he decided to join the effort on Facebook this year to help out strangers.

“I grew up on the east side of Kansas City,” he explained. “I know a lot of less fortunate families that wouldn't have it otherwise."

While the assistance effort took time and money to make possible, McEnroe said it was important to help others when they needed it most.

“It's humanity. We're a community and somebody has to look out for somebody,” he told 41 Action News. “It doesn't matter what color you are or what country you're from. If you celebrate Christmas or Thanksgiving, you deserve to have that holiday."

McEnroe and his son stopped by Penny’s home on Wednesday night to deliver the Thanksgiving items.

Penny hugged McEnroe after the delivery, knowing the holiday would be extra special for her family this year.

“Thanksgiving is a time that I want to spend with my family and make memories. Now, we'll be able to do that,” she said. “It's a memory that we're going to have for a lifetime and we're going to be able to share."

In total, 200 people in need received help through the Facebook effort.

After making the stop at Penny’s home, McEnroe said he still had other special visits to make to other families.

“The people I don't know that are like, ‘Hey, we got some stuff. Go give them this.' It means a lot,” he said.