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Volunteers prepare for Bea Gaddy's 37th annual Thanksgiving dinner

Posted at 8:05 AM, Nov 22, 2018

Thursday is a big day for the Bea Gaddy Family Center in Baltimore! 

Volunteers are getting ready for its 37th annual Thanksgiving dinner event where they serve meals to thousands of families in need here in the city. 

From noon until 5 p.m., dozens of volunteers will be serving around 50,000 families in need at the recreation center at Patterson Park.  

For first-time Bea Gaddy volunteer Jessica Alignay, this event is about giving back to her community. 

"Inside you know you feel better that this Thanksgiving wasn’t just about yourself but about helping others and giving back to the community," Alignay said. 

RELATED: Preparing for Bea Gaddy Thanksgiving

And 11-year volunteer Phil Goodwin says what keeps him coming each year is the kindness of others, “To me, this is everything good about Baltimore City. The number of people, the vast variety of people, and everybody working next to each other to get things done for something that is bigger and better than themselves.”

This is a tradition that started 37 years ago with a well known homeless advocate in Baltimore named Bea Gaddy. She used the $250 she won in a lottery to feed 49 of her neighbors on Thanksgiving, and since then her efforts have grown.

Now hundreds of volunteers continue to keep her legacy alive and continue to help so many people on Thanksgiving day.