SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — On a day typically shared with family and friends over a delicious meal, a local nonprofit organization has made sure that Savannah’s homeless population was not forgotten.
Never Counted Out, a veteran-founded and owned organization, hosted its Fellowship with the Homeless meal on Thanksgiving morning.
The event, held every year on Thanksgiving and Christmas, as well as every three months, invited Savannah’s homeless community to enjoy a warm holiday meal outside of the Inner City Night Shelter.
They were also treated to other essentials, like toiletries, warm clothing, hats and gloves.
“This is our third year doing this,” Maggie Buckner, a veteran who served 21 years, told News 3.
Never Counted Out’s president and co-founder formed the organization with her husband, Mark, who dedicated 29 years of his life to serving the country.
“Homelessness is a condition, not a permanent situation,” Buckner said. “We just want to remind them that we see them as human beings, and we want them to have the opportunity to know that we are taking time on a day that is meant to be spent with family and friends, and we see them as family and friends, as well.”
She added that the goal of the event was to treat with dignity and respect those individuals who oftentimes may be ignored by society.
“When we’re talking about human beings, there should be great efforts made in order to make sure that they are reminded that we care,” she said.
Included among the items given to the homeless were snack packs — resealable plastic bags stuffed with socks and non-perishable food items.
“Because both my husband and I are prior military, it mimics what we would call a ‘Pogey Bait’ that we would take for our field duty,” Buckner explained.
On each bag, she hand writes a reminder to “save for a rainy day.”
“It’s a bunch of items that they can hold on to for a day when they may not have access to food.”
The socks are included, as they are the organization’s most requested items.
“There’s a lot of homeless people that are here,” Maggie’s husband Mark, who’s also the vice president and co-founder of Never Counted Out, told News 3. “They all just need some help, let them know that there’s still a chance for them to keep on fighting in life.”