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Volunteers deliver 400 stress-free Thanksgiving meals to hospice patients and their families

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Posted at 4:57 PM, Nov 24, 2021

SARASOTA, Fla. — For Wayne Campbell, volunteering to put hundreds of Thanksgiving meals together makes him grateful.

"It's very rewarding. My brother-in-law passed last year and he was in hospice so this is very rewarding," said Campbell, a volunteer with FCCI Insurance Group.

For the second consecutive year, The Tidewell Foundation, a subsidiary of Empath Health, has connected with GROVE, PIER 22, and Morton’s Gourmet Market to provide individual heat-and-serve meals to local hospice and home health patients and their families on Thanksgiving.

"Turkey, dressing, pie, and all the fixings, that customers have purchased that’s all been donated back to us," said Marlo Turner, Tidewell Foundation vice president

Volunteers packed up and delivered more than 420 gourmet Thanksgiving meals across Manatee, Sarasota, DeSoto, and Charlotte Counties, allowing families to enjoy a stress-free Thanksgiving.

"They’re going to patients and their families that are at the end of their life so that they can have a break and enjoy a holiday together," said Turner.

Terry Purcell delivered several meals. He’s an air force veteran who volunteers with hospice to give back to sick vets.

"While it's a tough job, it's also very rewarding to hear what the veterans and their families have to say and bring them a little happiness and joy in a time when happiness and joy aren’t just falling in their laps," said Purcell.

A happiness and joy that volunteers say they're thankful to give this Thanksgiving.

"It's so rewarding to know that people are willing to give their time," said Turner.

Annually, Tidewell Hospice provides care for nearly 10,000 patients throughout the region.