MEMPHIS, Tennessee — On this Thanksgiving, Memphis churches and non-profit groups answered the call, volunteering their time and serving those in need with compassion.
Since Monday, hundreds of volunteers did just about everything - prepping, cooking and organizing - ahead of serving hot meals Thursday.
ABC24 News crisscrossed the Bluff City to showcase why Memphis' nationally recognized giving spirit continues to shine.
"I'm hoping that this will inspire our community to do more," Greenwood CME Church Pastor Willie Boyd said. "Today, we are reaching back, giving back to our city."
From Pastor Boyd's first-time feeding event at his new church to the more established - but equally passionate - holiday charity event at Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church in Midtown, volunteers spent Thursday outside in the misty rain, energized by the giving spirit.
"It's moving in a way that I really can't describe," Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church Pastor J. Lawrence Turner said.
"Our thing is 'do something', no matter how big or small," Terry Barnes added.
We caught up with Barnes and the riding group '901 Dirty Birds', who mixed smoke with the Memphis skyline, serving chicken and sides to anyone hungry for a hot plate.
"It's a beautiful feeling, heartwarming, just glad we are able to do something for our community," Barnes said.
"It doesn't take a lot to be a blessing to someone, it doesn't take a lot to give back to the community and show someone that you care about them," Frank Trotter said.
Nearby from Barnes at Morris Park, Trotter and others with the non-profit 'Dream Team Moving Group' provided food and toiletries.
The Memphian also reflected as he volunteered.
"Growing up the way I grew up, sometimes I didn't have food at home. So being able to give back to others and share a blessing, it means a lot to me," Trotter added.
Downtown, for the 17th Thanksgiving at Westy's, volunteers from across the city served face to face with a common mission: lifting up their fellow man on the holiday.
"You have people in this city that want to give and you have people who need to receive, and we just provide a venue to put it all together," Westy's volunteer and food coordinator Dallas Minner said.
The Memphis kindness shouldn't be surprising, as multiple studies in recent years ranked the Bluff City as the nation's most generous city based on the percentage of income given to charity.