AUGUSTA COUNTY, V.A. (WVIR) - Hundreds of students from three high schools in Augusta County got up at the crack of dawn Thursday to make sure families in need did not go hungry Thanksgiving.
When the Food for Families project began 31 years ago, Steve Geiman says it was a far cry from the event it is now.
"The first year we raised just enough money to do five meals," Geiman said. "Our goal, ultimately, was to take care of all the families the Salvation Army had for Thanksgiving, and then they can concentrate on Christmas. So that's what we've done."
Volunteers helped roughly 400 families Thursday, November 28, feeding more than 2,300 people.
“It’s the meaning of the season. Like, the kids are enjoying this, they’re understanding what we’re here for, understanding that we’re making a difference a lot of people’s lives today. And just seeing them even back this is why I do what I do,” Scott Cash said.
“It feels great, actually, you get to help people. You get to help the poor people that are not able to get food for Thanksgiving," student-volunteer Alex Sprouse.
"It's great to just come out and help the people who can't get meals on their own. It's just awesome that we can do this as a community," volunteer Olivia Farley said.
Students also raised $14,000, exceeding their goal. The extra funds will give them cushion for next year, and also bought 50 hams for Bethany United Methodist Church in Weyer’s Cave.