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Friends for Life organization gives away free meals to seniors

About 400 meals were prepared and delivered across Central Texas by volunteers.

WACO, Texas — On Thanksgiving morning, most people are sleeping in preparing their stomachs for a home-cooked meal and spending time with the family. But for volunteers at Friends for Life, they use the morning to give back.

For the last 25 years Friends for Life, a non-profit organization in Waco, has put together at least 400 plates of food for seniors and adults with disabilities.

Friends for Life owner and founder Inez Russell says the seniors in the community look forward to these meals every year.

"I can't even begin to tell you how important it is to them. They start calling and checking and making sure that we've got them on the list and we're not gonna forget them and they're just so so grateful. Sometimes I think the visits is as almost as important as the meal,"

Taking the time to give back to the community has become a tradition for many families who were at the meal preparation.

"Our family has been doing this now for about six years and hopefully will continue this even when my kids have grandkids," Volunteer Nikki Odermann shared.

In the past, more that 200 volunteers have shown up to either prepare meals or deliver them to the elderly. 

Around 400 meals are prepared for the elderly every year.

One woman who traveled from Colorado to visit family participated in the meal preparation and delivery. She says she used to volunteer when she lived in McGregor and now wants to start a tradition with her son.

"I have always wanted to come back and let my family experience the same thing and serve the community like I used to," Volunteer Ashlynn Pickle said.

Russell opened Friends for Life 33 years ago and has a great deal of love for everyone who took the time to come out this year and every year. She's sure this Thanksgiving tradition of giving back won't end any time soon.

"We are so blessed with people that are caring so much about our community and people who are in a situation where they are having to be less fortunate than we are at this particular time," Russell said.

To keep up with Friends for Life community events, visit their website.

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