BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Thanksgiving is a chance for families to get together and celebrate but the holiday can also be tough for those in need. That is why the University of Maine Women’s basketball team in Orono, joined forces with the Bangor Area Homeless Shelter on Thursday. With their company and extra hands, guests called this year’s Thanksgiving, the best one in years.
Autographs are not usually a “thing” on Thanksgiving but it was this year when 19 players from UMAINE’s women’s basketball team decided to volunteer at the Bangor Area Homeless Shelter.
“It feels so good to give back and to see someone else smile, especially on Thanksgiving. What’s better than that?” said sophomore, Tanesha Sutton.
She said this holiday is the perfect chance to show some love to those who need it most.
“You get so much joy from it and nowadays you don’t see that as often,” said Tanesha.
She said the greater Bangor Area has supported her and her teammates several times over the years—so what better way to say thank you?
Boyd Kronholm, the executive director of the shelter says their presence, was not only appreciated, but absolutely needed.
“Holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving are days that people think of spending with their families, and these people are away from their families for whatever reason or they have no family, so days like today, really stick out like a sore thumb to them,” said Kronholm.
But giving back helps both parties, while also leaving a lasting impression.
“And then you have the youth looking at you like wow, UMAINE basketball is helping someone, maybe that could be me helping someone,” said Sutton.
For guest, Wes Bartlett, this was a Thanksgiving he will never forget.
“It means a lot to me to see the community pulling together and helping the hungry and less fortunate this time of the year. It just touched my heart and I feel very grateful,” said Bartlett.
The turkey and trimmings at Thursday’s Thanksgiving dinner were donated by the Hollywood Casino—and that food fed nearly 75 people.