SEATTLE -- Volunteers including Seattle Sounders FC midfielder Osvaldo Alonso served a traditional Thanksgiving dinner to those less fortunate at Amber Bar and Restaurant in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood.
“On this day, a lot of people need the help. I'm here for that. I'm very glad to be here,” said Alonso.
Manny, Al and Narci Hendricks purchased 24 turkeys and all the fixings to serve at the 7th annual event.
“A lot of these homeless people, most of them are just regular people and they just had some bad times, but they are no different than you and me,” said Manny.
Melissa Madaffer said it was the best turkey she’s ever tasted. She was attending culinary arts management school when she relapsed on meth and started using heroin.
She says she has been clean since summer and events like this give her encouragement to keep going. "I live in a shelter and I would not have been able to have a Thanksgiving meal had it not been for this place."
Jordan Yashruti and his sister Amaya were among the first volunteers to arrive to serve as waiters.
"It makes me feel bad for them that they don't get food very often but for us it makes us feel good that we get to help people out,” said Jordan.
Many local restaurant owners donated their time to help cook or prepare as they reflected on what they were grateful for.
"I am most thankful to have amazing family and friends in my life,” said Michelle Quisenberry from Volterra restaurant.
“I'm thankful to be healthy and to give back to people who always supported me,” said Luam Werson from Mojito’s restaurant.
“Personally thankful for my baby daughter. She just turned 7 months and she's definitely the light of my life,” said Ryan Lewis who owns Amber Seattle.
As they exited the restaurant, each guest received a warm coat and socks donated by Marshawn Lynch and XStadium Lounge in Pioneer Square.