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Helping Hand assisting families ahead of Thanksgiving Day

Helping Hand of Greater Little Rock handed out more than 100 Thanksgiving boxes with food items and 50 turkeys!

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Thousands of families are already in the kitchen getting things ready for Thanksgiving Day.

Unfortunately, that is not the reality for everyone.

For people like Donald Clark of Little Rock, stopping by organizations like Helping Hand of Greater Little Rock ahead of Thursday is a family tradition.

He and his brothers have been visiting this place for more than two decades. 

"This right here will help me have a good Thanksgiving, as it always does every year," Clark said. "I know where I stand with them. I know I can depend on them to have some quality food here. It's not out of date."

Making sure his family is fed on the day of thanks isn't the only reason he keeps coming back.

"They can see me drive up and say, 'well that's Mr. Clark,' and that means a big deal that they remember us out of all those people and that means that they actually care," Clark said. 

It's people like Clark who continue to remind executive director Gayle Preddy of Helping Hands of Greater Little Rock why businesses are still donating things like canned food items and turkeys every year.

"It's just serving others [because] we're blessed, and we like to pass the blessings on to others that are less fortunate," Preddy said.

In the last year, paying it forward to Arkansas families around this time is especially important, because Preddy said they saw more unfamiliar faces who suffered through pandemic challenges.

"We saw a great increase in the number of people that we served. A lot of the clients that we served, starting last year at the start of the pandemic, had never had to come to us before," Preddy said. 

She said she is happy to be able to give those families a sense of relief this week.

The organization handed out more than 100 boxes of food items and 50 turkeys in less than two hours on Monday.

It is something that Clark said he is grateful for during this holiday season.

"Every little bit helps. If everybody would keep the kind of attitude that these people have, then the world would be a better place," Clark said.

Businesses in central Arkansas donated items to The Helping Hand of Greater Little Rock. 

They will be handing out more Thanksgiving food boxes and turkeys on Tuesday, November 22, beginning at 9 a.m. at 1601 Marshall Street, Little Rock, Arkansas 72216.

Members of Congressman French Hill's Veterans team will be at the Veterans Villages of America Food Pantry on Tuesday, November 22. 

This pantry will provide Thanksgiving boxes for all veterans and this will happen at 8325 MacArthur Drive, North Little Rock, Arkansas 72118.

The Little Rock Compassion Center offers meals to the community, even on Thanksgiving.

If you need help paying for your own Thanksgiving dinner, click here for some shopping tips!