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North Texans Give Back On Thanksgiving

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Bud Gillett
Bud is the most veteran reporter at CBS 11 News with 42 years in m...
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DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) - Thanksgiving kindness played out over and over across North Texas today. People helping people was the order of the day.

At Norma’s Café in the Oak Cliff area of Dallas, Eva Quezada showed up at 6 a.m. for the traditional 11 a.m. Thanksgiving meal.

“It helps us, you know, we get hungry we know where to go,” she told CBS 11 News.  She calls such meals important for older folks on their own.

“It is for people that needs it or people that lives by themselves, it helps a lot,” she said.

Owner Ed Murph said after the first ten years he offered to let his employees off to celebrate with their families.

“I told my employees (after 10th year), “Hey, it was a great run, it was a good thing, everybody did well, we served a lot of food, now y’all need to be with your families.

And they said, “No, what we do is serve food on Thanksgiving at Norma’s,” and they were going to do it by themselves, and so we have continued this, this is our 24th year.   And it means a lot, obviously, to my employees.”

Nonetheless, he says they’re all exhausted by the end of the day.  “Really tired, but really fulfilled because we’ve given a lot of hope to a lot of people and then that’s what it’s really all about.”  He anticipates more than 6,000 meals will be served.

The spirit of giving can be contagious this time of year.

In South Dallas, the Anointed School of Prophets conducted its fourth annual “Homeless for the Holidays” dinner; offering food, what they call “gently used clothing,” and a message, delivered by its founder, Roseann Toliver.

“There are people out there who care about you and want to see you have a good Thanksgiving Dinner, too.”

The Salvation Army’s added another 2100 meals served in Dallas, Oak Cliff, and Fort Worth shelters.   Turkey and all the trimmings provided a touch of home and family for people who might not have either a home or family.

And a local hotel provided a vote of thanks to those who serve everyone else today.

Jeff Powell, the executive sous chef at the Hyatt Regency Dallas, supervised the annual Thanksgiving dinner for firefighters at Dallas Fire Station Number 4 near downtown.

“What we want to bring to them is a nice healthy meal, these guys are here every day doing hard work that’s dangerous and this is probably the least we can do to give back,” he said.

In speaking of Thursday’s meal, “We have a little ham, a little strip loin, some turkey, a nice little mixed green salad with some dressing,” he said, along with sweet potatoes, acorn squash, and of course dessert.

“Pecan pie, apple pie, pumpkin pie, some chocolate pie.”  This holiday meal really is a tradition; the Hyatt Regency Dallas has been catering a Thanksgiving Day dinner for fire station four and family members here for nearly 30-years.

The Hyatt contingent also took a portion of the dinner to firefighters working in the 911 call center.

It means a lot to firefighters who are all on duty.  “It’s real important because this year we’re working both Thanksgiving and Christmas otherwise, we’d miss our families.  So this way we get to spend the holidays with our families,” says Lt. Rene’ Sherman, a mother of two whose husband is a Dallas police officer.

They all joined her for the feast.  “Between the runs and the regular work, it’s just too much.  So just to be able to relax and enjoy the day and enjoy our families, is just huge.  Huge.”

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