A Virginia business owner put a community on his back this vacation with food distribution mostly on his own dollar.
Behind her gourmet Tummy-Yum Yum confectionery, Sharita Rouse served up a Thanksgiving feast.
This is the third year that she has held the event outside her store in Manassas Old Town.
In his store, Rouse prepared and distributed meals to families when the children were out of school due to the pandemic.
“I hope that if any of my children were on the streets and needed help, someone would help them,” she said.
The city honored her as Woman of the Year.
“I’m not doing this for this, I’m doing it because people need it,” Rouse said.
This is the first time that a black woman has won the title.
“Forget first, first, first,” said Mayor Michelle Davis-Younger. “It’s just because it’s the right thing to do.”
His army of volunteers feels it too.
“It makes me feel like I’m complete; it makes me feel like a better person,” said Will Pippen.
“A lady showed up today, she needed a coat,” Davis-Younger said. “Go around and grab a coat. You need a hot meal, come have a hot meal. And then they bring stuff to their neighbors who can’t come. It’s the community.”
“That’s the topic of the day,” Rouse said.
She said next year that she was planning an even bigger event, closing entire streets in the old town.