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For Belltown restaurant, feeding homeless is a Thanksgiving tradition

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SEATTLE — Mustapha Rafa is well-known among diners at Cellars Restaurant in Belltown for his kind heart and customer service.

It’s not surprising then that the restaurant’s general manager was up cooking hundreds of Thanksgiving meals for two straight days.

“Last year, I did 16 turkeys; this year, I did 15 cause the place I went to shop from, they only had 15 left down there so I just grabbed whatever they had down there and brought them down here,” Rafa said Thursday.

restaurantThe idea to serve a free meal to less-fortunate people came to him four years ago, when he was alone on the holiday.

“I don’t have family down here. It’s Thanksgiving. I’m by myself so we decided to start this and I have a couple friends of mine that we started at the beginning and just keep doing it every year so it feels good.”

The first year they did it, they had to go looking for people to feed.

“This year, as you can see, we just opened and we have a lot of people here,” he said.

A lot of volunteers showed up to help, too, like Kelcie Davis and her friend Kayle Nicklos.

“It’s actually a really, really, nice experience to be able to come out and to give to other people on holidays,” said Davis.

Nicklos added, “”This is just something that you take your time and like, give back. I’m really fortunate to be able to do this.”

Rafa may not have family in Seattle to spend Thanksgiving with, but judging from the turnout this year, it seemed like he did.

He may need to plan on more turkeys next year.

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