Green Bay - While many of us are preparing to celebrate Thanksgiving, others are struggling with the reality that their dinner table will be empty this year. Angela Cadena knows that terrible feeling all too well.
"I have 4 children, and I remember losing my job and just being on really hard times," she explains.
Roger Nelson of Green Bay can relate. "I'm 80-years-old and it was during the war that I grew up. We didn't have nothing. We ate green apples."
That difficult childhood compelled Nelson to donate to NBC26's first-ever Turkey Tuesday donation drive. Our team collected your donations of turkeys and non-perishable Thanksgiving fixings from 5:00am to 10:30pm at the Festival Foods store in De Pere. During Cameron's Weather Roadshow, Tom the Turkey stopped by live during our newscasts to have some fun while tackling a serious situation.
"We get calls daily asking if we're going to help out with turkeys this year. The need is just so tremendous," says Cadena.
She now works at Manna for Life Ministries Food Pantry in Green Bay to help families facing the hardships that she once did. On Wednesday, she helped NBC26 unload the Turkey Tuesday donations. It was an impressive haul of 327 pounds of food which is enough to feed 30 families this Thanksgiving.
"You see huge families just coming in and not having means for any of this food, so the community getting together like this just helps so much," Cadena explains.
It's a community that's proud to help.
"It feels good. It's nice," Greg Sinkler said after donating.
Nelson adds, "If anytime I can help some kid get a full stomach, go to bed at night without having any problems, it makes me feel good."
Cadena says it's wonderful to see the families who receive a helping hand have another reason to be thankful this Thanksgiving. "A lot of gratefulness. A lot of tears. Just thanking us."
Manna for Life expects to feed 400 families on Thanksgiving which is nearly double the number they normally serve each week.
NBC26 would like to thank you for your donations, as well as Festival Foods, for helping make Turkey Tuesday a huge success.