Youth group spends Thanksgiving volunteering - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Youth group spends Thanksgiving volunteering

November 23, 2006

Albany -- The Salvation Army provides free meals for hungry and homeless people everyday of the year, and they depend on volunteers to help make that happen. Thanksgiving is no exception. Nearly 100 people who would have gone without a good meal enjoyed Thanksgiving Dinner at the Albany Salvation Army.

One group of young volunteers sacrificed time with their own families to help others.  They were members of the youth group at Temple of Refuge Apostolic Church in Albany.

Their directors say bringing the youth group to the Salvation Army on Thanksgiving helped them remember what they are thankful for because they got to meet others who don't have the same blessings.

This Thanksgiving is a memorable one for 11 year old John Lewis, and it may have set a lifetime of goodwill for others on his table. After volunteering at the Salvation army John believes that what goes around will come back around some day.

"Just in case if I'm in need, then somebody can help me," said John Lewis.

John is a first time volunteer, sacrificing time at home with family to serve people in Albany who are homeless, hungry, and in need a good meal this Thanksgiving. He's part of the Temple of Refuge Apostolic Church youth group who came to the soup kitchen together to serve, and learn at the same time.

"What they have at home they're blessed, cause other people are unfortunate. They do not have what they have and to show them that they could be in the shoes that the other people are in," said Christine Lewis.

Youth Director Christine Lewis brought a group of eight children to show them how it feels to serve others. Volunteerism like this makes a difference for people who come to the Salvation Army.

"So many people that lose contact with family, and don't have nowhere to go, and all that. And that's where the Salvation Army comes in," said Tony Baker.

The organization comes in and feeds and shelters people in need. Something many call a blessing and something John and his fellow youth group members are thankful to be a part of.

"It felt good," said John Lewis.

"I learned that if somebody need help help them cause something might happen to me and I might need help," said Jameria Lewis.

Volunteers at the Salvation Army give people in need a reason to be thankful this Thanksgiving, and year round.

The group from the Temple of Refuge Apostolic Church ranged in age from 10 to 17 years old. For many it was their very first time volunteering, and they say it was a good experience.

This Thanksgiving was the first time the Salvation Army Church came to the soup kitchen to provide live music at the annual luncheon.

Feedback: news@walb.com?subject=ThanksgivingDinner/NJ