Missoula Family Feeds Others for Thanksgiving
Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - KGVO News had the privilege of speaking with the Graybeal family on Friday after reading of a GoFundMe campaign to help them feed the less fortunate in Missoula each Thanksgiving.
Stephanie Graybeal described how the effort began to expand the reach of their Thanksgiving celebration far beyond their own family.
A Missoula Family Expands their Thanksgiving to Feed Those Less Fortunate
“We were sitting around our table about five years ago, and my daughter Emily said she was feeling like ‘Why are we sitting here and eating all this food and being thankful when there are people out there that have nothing?’, so we decided to change that,” began Mrs. Graybeal. “So every year we started making what we would make for ourselves, and now that has increased and we drive around town and we find people who need a Thanksgiving dinner.”
The Graybeals are seeking to expand their Thanksgiving tradition by including more volunteer individuals or families to help feed those less fortunate in the Missoula community.
The GoFundMe Effort will Help the Graybeals Feed More People at Thanksgiving
“We've tried to think of the logistics of having more people come and maybe even having a second vehicle,” she said. “We have a family of five, so it pretty much fills up our car at this point, but any donations we would love to see or to be able to help support. We’re also hoping for donations of gloves or hats; just things to keep them warm because it's super cold. A big thing that we spend money on is containers to keep the food warm so that when we're transporting, it's not freezing cold by the time it makes it to them.”
16-year-old Emily Graybeal Shares Her Thoughts about Sharing Thanksgiving
Emily Graybeal, now 16, described her experience of sharing her family’s Thanksgiving dinner for the past few years.
“It's been awesome, because like I think people have like this image of people, and when you really like get to sit down and talk to them because people aren't doing that, it's just awesome,” said Emily. “So a little kindness goes a long way and I think that's just awesome.”
Below, find the original GoFundMe request published last week and emailed to KGVO News.
‘Good Morning! Now that we're officially in the Season of Giving here's a story I think you'll love!
Ten years ago Emily Graybeal questioned her family while they sat around the Thanksgiving table asking why they spent the holiday stuffing themselves when so many others have so little. Ever since the family has made Thanksgiving dinner each year, but instead of sitting around the table, they pack the food into to-go boxes and then drive around time giving those meals to people who need them. This family tradition has grown so much over the years.
"What started as just a few dinners, in place of our own family's meal to now 50+meals to hand out," Stephanie Graybeal wrote on GoFundMe. "We understand that there are shelters and opportunities to go get the meals, but our goal is to go find those people that are hidden in doorways to stay warm, who maybe are intoxicated and wouldn't be permitted into the shelter, those who can't get there for whatever reason still get to have that Thanksgiving meal and still get to have shown to them love and compassion."
The Graybeal family is inviting their community to get involved with their annual "Thanksgiving Dinner Drive About" by starting a GoFundMe where anyone can donate towards the cost of food and to-go boxes. The hope to raise a modest $500 to expand this year's dinner. Please let me know if you'd like any help contacting them for an interview.
To view the GoFundMe, please click here.
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Gallery Credit: KC