BLUFFTON, SC (WSAV) – Thanksgiving came a little early for the members of PEP in Bluffton.

More than 100 members of “Programs for Exceptional People”, their families and staff gathered for a big holiday feast, turkey included.

The food for more than 100 people was provided by culinary students from the University of South Carolina Beaufort Culinary Institute.

Organizers say it’s a great way to kick off the holiday season and put a smile on everyone’s face at the same time.

“I think the world needs to pay attention to what love looks like,” says Dave D’Amico, Executive Director, PEP. “There is no hate here. There are 50 people a day that struggle with various issues but they come in and they are always happy and thriving.”

There was something else to celebrate at this meal. PEP was named a South Carolina “Angel Award” recipient.

The group, which helps adults with developmental disabilities work on life skills, independence and employment, was one of only 10 charitable organizations in the state of South Carolina to receive the honor.

Over 91% of donations received by PEP go directly toward the mission of promoting independence, social interaction, and employment opportunities for adults who live with intellectual, physical, and developmental disabilities.

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