RICHMOND, Va., -- The Richmond Convention Center was filled with families who joined with strangers for a feast and fellowship on Thanksgiving.
Organizers with Giving Heart organization estimate more than 2,600 people turned out for their annual Giving Heart Community Thanksgiving Feast. They believed more than 200 people attended the event compared to last year.
Donnie Brown volunteered with his mother after a shift as an EMT.
"We should not only be thankful for what we can have, but thankful for what we can do for someone else," Brown said.
He gave his group of volunteers a pep talk before assembling cups of coffee for attendees.
"Pride will sometimes keep you from really admitting what’s really going on in your life," Brown explained. "I think it’s a great opportunity for us to give back and make somebody feel like a person again."
"I want them to take away that they've got something to eat and if they're full they can go back for seconds. That they've met some new friends, they'll be able to share time with people here and they can get resources," Food Coordinator Stan Wright told CBS 6 last year.
In the season of giving, many volunteers said they were happy to make a difference in the community.
"It’s not always about having enough money. If you’ve had a loss like a death in your family you don’t want to eat alone," Cathy Brown stated.
This is the 14th year the Giving Heart has hosted the free meal.
Click here to learn more about Giving Heart or if you would like to volunteer or make a donation.