Giving Back on Thanksgiving

WHEELING – For many, Thanksgiving is a holiday for families to feast on turkey and mashed potatoes before enjoying a football game – and plotting Black Friday shopping strategies.

For some, however, Thanksgiving can be just another lonely day spent looking for someplace to eat and sleep for the night.

Therefore, Maj. John Blevins of the Wheeling Salvation Army is quite thankful that Quaker Steak & Lube at The Highlands donated 40 full Thanksgiving dinners to be enjoyed Wednesday by those staying at the organization’s homeless shelter.

“If not for this, a lot of these folks would have nothing to eat – and nowhere to go,” said Blevins. “We are very grateful for this generous donation from Quaker Steak. They have been good to us in the past with donations, and this is another one.”

Quaker Steak marketing manager Stephanie Adams and assistant marketing manager Jeramiah Freeland delivered the meals to the Salvation Army at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

The shelter does not open until 7 p.m., so residents had the warm food waiting for them upon their arrival.

Dinners included turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, tossed salad, fruit salad and chocolate chip cookies for dessert.

“This is our first year donating a dinner here. We also donated to the Children’s Home of Wheeling today,” said Freeland. “Over the past three years, we have probably donated about 10,000 pounds of food throughout the local area.”

Adams said Quaker Steak is a company that emphasizes the importance of helping those in need.

“It is one of our company’s standards – to give back as much as possible,” she said.

Blevins said the shelter would probably fill about 29 of its 35 beds Wednesday evening, as many in the Upper Ohio Valley continue struggling to find adequate housing.

“It is a really tough time right now for a lot of these folks,” he said. “But they will really appreciate a dinner like this.”

Other free Thanksgiving dinners are set for today at the following locations and times:

– Grand Vue Park in Moundsville from noon to 3 p.m.;

– Vito’s 2 restaurant in Follansbee from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and

– Catholic Charities Neighborhood Center in Wheeling at noon.