A Community Thanksgiving

November 24, 2004 -- Posted 6:30 p.m. CDT

Jonesboro, AR -- For the past 7 years, hundreds of volunteers from Region 8 businesses and churches have given up their own thanksgiving meal to feed others in the community. That blessing continued at St. Bernards Auditorium in Jonesboro on Thursday morning.

"There's so many people that don't have a chance for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, they have no family, they're older, and they just want some companionship," said organizer Joe Heinemann.

That's a lesson one family from Trumann learned first hand. Kevin Shaver brought his 4 daughters out to volunteer. They rolled up their sleeves, served food, and passed along smiles.

"I wanted the kids to know that there are some people out there that aren't as fortunate as we are to have warm food and to have something on Thanksgiving to make this a special day," said Shaver.

There's a lot the Shaver family is thankful for this holiday season. Kevin has been traveling with the Navy for the past year, serving on the John F. Kennedy during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

"All the yellow ribbons everywhere blew me away when I came home, I didn't expect that kind of fanfare," said Shaver.

"I'm thankful that my dad is back so that we can all celebrate Thanksgiving together," said 11 year old Ashley Shaver.

"Family is family like we always say, wherever we go we always got each other so that makes a big difference to us," added Shaver.

It's a Thanksgiving wish from one family to the next.