Virginia Family Gives Thanks By Giving Time

A northern Virginia family spent this Thanksgiving giving up their time for others.

For the past five years, Felicia Thigpen of Springfield has brought her two young daughters to Alexandria's Meade Memorial Episcopal Church to volunteer on Thanksgiving Day. She starts in the kitchen at 8 a.m.

"Life didn't come with a manual, but I'm learning as I grow up," Thigpen said.

She does this out of love.

"I think love is the big commandment, and you know, you don't see a lot of that today," she said.

The feast they' prepared is for more than 50 strangers, who otherwise would be left in the cold in search of another place to eat on this holiday.

"It dordn't feel right that I go home and I sit and eat and just take things for granted," Felicia said.

The dining room is part of Father Collins Asonye's church. He started the initiative when he joined the parish five years ago.

"There are people who are single. There are people who are homeless. There are people who are on the edge of society," he said.

Those served are grateful.

"Without you, I wouldn't be smiling today, I wouldn't be smiling," said a thankful Paul Allou. "People volunteer for me. They don't even know me and they volunteer to come serve me."

"You don't have to know them," Thigpen said. "Just love ... When you give, wonderful things start happening to you."

To learn how you can help, visit Volunteer Alexandria.

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