Charity Day

Community Outreach

I'd like to send a special Thanks to Jeff Turner of "In the Neighborhood Deli". Having donated his time to others, especially reaching out to Food For Friends and getting the Turkeys donated for those several hundreds of thousands of joyful people who walked away from this event more than full. Also, a big shoutout to Grand Victoria Casino, who also surprised us last minute with another dozen turkeys and counting. So much food came out of this day that they had containers for people to walk away with. All I can say to end this session is that I'm truly blessed to partake in this communities Thanksgiving, I'm looking forward to my next adventure. 

Unlike theme parks there is no age requirement or height requirement, just need the good in your soul. The community of Elgin, IL gives back like Wild Fire. It's truly amazing how everyone saves time to give back on this holiday of togetherness. I've made it a tradition of mine to spend some time on Thanksgiving and give back, as others are spending their time to embrace the big support of lending a hand and a meal. Some of us are truly blessed and gifted with open opportunity; however, for those that aren't they all need support here and there. Having lived in this community for a few short months showed me a lot. 

Thanksgiving Jeer is out to spread.  Everyone from the Fire Department Captain, Police Captain; to even the former School Board Superintendent. I had the great opportunity of speaking with the him; Dr. Jose M Torres, it was great to hear that he stepped away to see this community grow and to even see some of his former students out and about lending a hand as well. 

Each individual had stories to tell; may they have been new to the area like I, or even the first African American to live on that side of town in 1960. Either way, I'm glad to say we had our piece of pie and had time to share with each other. Salvation Army, also stepped in and helped donate clothing to the less fortunate to keep warm this cold Winter Season. 

A Helping Hand

One of the things I love to do to get situated and acclimated in a new area is to try and give back anyway possible. One organization I found to help out was Colon Cancer Coalition; they were doing a 5k race/walk called "Get Your Rear In Gear!"

Cancer is a tough battle for anyone involved in it anyway. The key to beating Cancer is support and strength. This means the battle is also tough for the loved ones around us. Only high spirits and high hopes can overcome this obstacle in ones life. When I stepped into this event, I had no idea of the stories that I would leave with because of it. 

A family coming together in joy to embrace the memories they had of a beloved mother, sister and wife. 

Some people came together to embrace happiness of a loved one that was lost to the fight. I had the great pleasure of meeting this amazing group of family and friends of Natalie. Her daughters and son did the 5k along with the entire group, raising a large amount of money for Colon Cancer Awareness. Being touched by so many individuals I wanted to give back in a larger way that day, so I created this video. 

The biggest survivor I had met that day was Sharon Wells. Her and her husband Devin had created the event to gain awareness towards the community of Elgin, Illinois. I take it they succeeded by hitting their goal and more that day with a huge turn out. It was a personal pleasure to meet Sharon and hear her story of catching the cancer early and beating the odds, all with the support of her loving husband and 2 sons. 

Give Thanks & Tradition

This past week my life has felt like two completely different worlds. Thanksgiving, for me was a time to give back and give thanks to those who need that helping hand in life. I'm a big fan and supporter of helping out, especially those who truly need it. We all need a hand at something in life; may it be exercising, that extra push for a job, or even financially.

I was more than pleased to help out on my Thanksgiving to the Union Station Homeless Shelter. They had a Thanksgiving dinner in the park that day. Enjoy the show below and appreciate every moment ahead. Right now in life, I'm just trying to appreciate what's in front of me till this moment in time is all wrapped up and gone. Always try and stay focused on what's next at hand.

Marv Gross accepting the check from Bank of America on behalf of Union Station Homeless Services. Thanksgiving Goal met!

Volunteers coming in early to lend their time and give back.

A day to give back to thousands and just be grateful.

Some people volunteer as families to share the positive moment of helping others. This was Carmen and her sons first time giving back.

Huge turn out leads to a lot of happy faces. Entire families coming together for a free meal.

Marv Gross as he helps find the parents of Diego and Juan on a busy day at the park. (Don't worry they were found moments later)

The reward of suppling Thanksgiving for the children & their families.

Thanks sure is a word often used lightly, but try to appreciate it the more and more you use it. Thanksgiving was also a great time to see families come together and create their own traditions so that they can bond together and stick closer and closer each year. I hope everyone I know out there had an Awesome Thanksgiving and just try and have this time to bring your families together and create your own tradition just like Carmen and her son volunteering for the first time and hopefully more to come!