ASHLAND CITY, Tenn. (WKRN) – In Ashland City, most of the restaurants are closed for business on Thanksgiving Day, but at the Sunrise Café on Main Street the dining room is a buzz and bustling with volunteers preparing hundreds of to go meals.
The meals feature the standard Thanksgiving items including turkey, ham, dressing, green beans, mashed potatoes and anything else you would want.
Volunteers then deliver the meals to people around the Cheatham County area, including the sick, shut in and people such as first responders who have to work on the holiday.
“We are going to all the nursing homes, we are feeding the staff there, we are feeding the staff at the hospitals,” Sunrise Café Owner Candace Beasley said. “We are also feeding the EMTs, the firemen, the police and any place that is open right now.”
In fact, Beasley had volunteer drivers take note of other businesses around town open for the holiday so those workers can get a free Thanksgiving meal, too.
Beasley and her family started the annual event even before she opened the restaurant.
“My kids and me started out making little baskets for the nursing homes,” she said. “Then when I opened the restaurant I realized we could do this on a much larger scale.”
Each year the effort has grown and so have the number of volunteers who give up part of their Thanksgiving to help others.
Becky Beigert and her family are among the volunteers.
“I am a nurse and nurses have servant’s hearts,” she said. “It’s just amazing because we do such good for so many people.”
Beigert’s daughter Blair Anderson and her family also make the event a part of their holiday tradition.
“My husband is here, my children are here, my father and my sister-in-law,” she said. “So for us it is not just a labor of love but a familial labor of love.”
She continued, “We have been so richly blessed that we can ‘t imagine not doing it.”
Beasley said the outpouring of support makes her efforts even more worthwhile.
“We had one lady come in with her husband and they picked up 12 turkeys. They cooked them for us last night and brought them in this morning,” Beasley said. “It says volumes about my town. These people are the most loving kind hearted sweetest people and this is why I have been here for 12 years now. “
After Thanksgiving, the Sunrise Café begins its coat and blanket drive for the winter.
Donations can be dropped off at the café located at 202 Main Street in Ashland City.
You can find more information on the restaurant’s Facebook Page.