Cleveland woman organizes free dinner for hundreds every month

Vickie Chandler has coordinated the free community dinner at the Salvation Army for years. (Image: WTVC)

Right now, many families are finalizing the menu for Thanksgiving dinner, but some folks have no place to go for a hot meal.

Now a church group in Cleveland is setting the table for anyone looking for a helping hand, and of course another helping of turkey.

It takes a lot of time, energy and commitment to organize a free community meal for anyone in need, but it's something Vickie Chandler makes happen every month.

We surprised her and the rest of her church group as they cooked a meal for 70 people in Cleveland.

It's Sunday night, and the Meals of Hope program is in full swing at the Salvation Army's kitchen in Cleveland.

On the menu for tonight is green beans, turkey and mashed potatoes.

A hot meal paid for and made by the Happy Hour Life Point Group at the Church at Grace Point.

Lucy Sprague says they treat strangers like family, "They will walk around and ask if you want something, they will sit down and talk with you."

"Do they put a smile on your face?" asked Newschannel 9's Jessica Harthorn.

"Oh yeah!" laughed Lucy.

And Debbie Sneed tells us the woman who coordinates it all has been volunteering for years.

"She's just a phenomenal person. She does everything but preach in a church," said Debbie.

So tonight, we lure her into the kitchen for a big surprise.

"Vickie, Vickie, come here." said Debbie.

"What? What are you guys doing?" asked Vickie.

"On behalf of the McMahan Law Firm and Newschannel 9, I feel like you do an awful lot to put this together, and I want to Pay It Forward $500. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5," surprised Debbie.

"Well thank you all!" said Vickie.

As Vickie's family surrounded her with big smiles, we asked why serving others is her top priority.

"You don't know who is going to come through that doorway, whether it's a child, an adult, anything they need, we are here for them, whether prayer or physical need. We are here for them," said Vickie.

Do you know someone who deserves $500 cash for helping others in need? Nominate them here.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off