Michael Making Lives Better has made the most of giving thanks at Thanksgiving, by encouraging multiple Erie businesses and organizations to get involved and offer free meals to help those less fortunate.
“Thanksgiving is a big holiday season in the United States,” says Michael Hooks, the entrepreneur and visionary who’s curated resources to produce the Annual Thanksgiving Dinner and other events that give back to the community like the Annual Back2School Weekend. Noticing that Thanksgiving not only begins a season where family’s come together to be thankful, it is the less fortunate, and those without the family structure for the holidays that he reaches out to.
Michael recognizes the light that leaders of community efforts get, but defers, “This is all the community of Erie, just people coming together,” said Hooks. “I’m always the one that gets the credit, but its just the city helping out.”
Over the past several years volunteering to serve meals on Thanksgiving has become a local tradition for many individuals in Erie. Jim Musich, owner Hyatt’s Old Fashioned Restaurant, says he and his entire family has now spent many Thanksgivings together, helping out.
“We used to spend it at home, with everybody coming to our house,” said Musich. “Now, everyone comes to our bigger house, our bigger place for Thanksgiving. We really enjoy it, we would miss this if we didn’t do it.”
It has become such a success, that they almost have too many volunteers! A really great situation to be in. All food served on the occasion has been donated and money is raised all year round to help those in need and to give to food pantries throughout the year as ongoing thanks.