When you think of Thanksgiving, you think of a family sitting down to an extravagant meal together. But that Hallmark-esque picture is not a reality for everyone. It’s easy to forget there are people who don’t have the privilege of spending it with their family, or can’t afford a meal.
This is why we love Michigan restaurant owner, George Dimopoulos, who owns George’s Senate Coney Island. What is he doing that’s so amazing? He’s offering free holiday meals at his restaurant all day long for Thanksgiving, according to TODAY. How awesome is that?
Since the photo was posted, it’s been viewed more than three MILLION times. That’s right, three million. Which indicates people appreciate acts of kindness, especially around the holidays; some even expressed how they wish their hometowns would do the same.
Dimopoulos told TODAY how he does this because of his own past: He’s a Greek immigrant who moved to the U.S. at 23 after being homeless during various parts of his childhood. He stated:
“I’m a very good cook. I cook a lot of good food, and I give a lot of food to people. I don’t tell people that I do this; I do this because I believe in God and believe that there are people who need a little help.
I see people coming into the restaurant, and I say, ‘Are you by yourself?’ and they say, ‘I am, I’m alone.’” They need a little attention and help. That’s what I believe. I don’t care how much it costs. I make good money, so I can help those people.”
Every year, he serves Thanksgiving dinner to about 100 people. That’s a lot of people in one day alone. Sadly, however, there are many other cities and towns across the country that won’t be as lucky. According to NBC News, donations at some food banks are down by 20%. City Harvest told NBC that while they have 3,500 turkeys to give away, they still need about 6,000 more.
While we don’t expect every business to be able to host a free Thanksgiving dinner, it is inspiring, as it illustrates how any kind gesture can go a long way. It would be hard for families to give back on such a grand scale, but even donating food during the year can help. We’re glad people like George exist, who still see the power in generosity, and don’t forget the times they needed help.