DALLAS - Serving others can make a difference in someone's life, especially strangers in need.
There were many North Texas volunteers who shared their time this holiday to help others and show their love for one another this Thanksgiving.
At Saint Matthew's Cathedral in Dallas, former refugees and new arrivals from at least 20 different countries were treated to a warm meal.
"In the last ten years, I've been in the Dallas area," Iranian immigrant Reza Ghaffarian said.
"What you see are people in the point of their lives where they need companionship and family," Nigerian immigrant Kolade Owekan said.
Organizers said it’s important for the refugees to feel welcome in their new country.
"Our goal is not just to save them, but to help them flourish and integrate into the culture and become successful people in this new country," said Samira Page, who is the founder of Gateway of Grace Ministries.
At the Statler Hotel in Downtown Dallas, it was veterans, first responders, and front-line workers who were celebrated.
"There are several people I spoke to today who are nurses getting off the night shift," said Ernie Williams, with the Statler Hotel.
The owner of the iconic hotel began the Thanksgiving Day tradition in 2018.
This was Air Force veteran Robert Walker's first time.
"All of my adult life has been associated with the Air Force, and for someone to come up to me and thank me for my service, it makes it all worth while," Walker said.
A long-standing tradition has returned to the Salvation Army in Dallas.
After a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, the annual Thanksgiving lunch was once again open to the community, in addition to folks living in the shelter.
"To see them here today to see the excitement, to see some of them have additions to their family, it's like a family reunion for us," Salvation Army Captain Maxie DeBlanc.
DeBlanc estimated volunteers served between 1,400-1,700 people.
Lisa Fernandez was there with her family.
She appreciated the gesture and was thankful to organizations and volunteers who make it all possible.
"Happy, joy, glad to be with them," she said.