THANKSGIVING

Business Owner Gives Away Thanksgiving Dinners From Her Manassas Store

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A Virginia business owner put a community on her back this holiday with a food distribution drive mostly on her own dollar.

Behind her gourmet confectionary Tummy-Yum Yum, Sharita Rouse served a Thanksgiving feast.

It's her third year hosting the event outside of her store in Old Town Manassas.

Inside her store, Rouse made and distributed meals to families when kids were out of school due to the pandemic.

"I would hope that if any of my children were out on the streets, needing help, that someone would help them," she said.

The town honored her as woman of the year.

"I don't do this for that; I do it because people need it," Rouse said. 

It’s the first time a Black woman earned the title.

“Forget the whole first, first, first,” Mayor Michelle Davis-Younger said. “It's just because it's the right thing to do."

Her army of volunteers feels it, too.

"It makes me feel complete; it makes me feel like a better person," Will Pippen said.

"One lady showed up today, she needed a coat,” Davis-Younger said. “Go right in the corner and get a coat. You need a hot meal, come get a hot meal. And then they're taking stuff to their neighbors who can't make it. That's community."

"This is what the day is about," Rouse said.

She said next year she's planning an even larger event, shutting down entire streets in Old Town.

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