WAVERLY, Tenn. — The people of Waverly and nearby communities impacted by flooding, got a welcomed meal Thanksgiving Day.
The community Thanksgiving was founded three years ago at American Legion 34 on North Church Street. But, it has taken on new meaning for the city in recovery.
Waverly was devastated by historic flooding on August 21 that cost many lives in a short amount of time. Since then, there are hundreds of people still trying to recover.
But, Thursday afternoon, at least a Thanksgiving meal was covered.
Kathy Klein said she was called to start the Thanksgiving feast.
"One night, three years ago, I went to bed and it just kept coming up all night long and I didn't sleep about a community Thanksgiving," said Klein. After another sleepless night, she promised god she would try to start a community meal on Thanksgiving day if she could just fall a sleep.
The next day, she said, when she woke up, she did just that.
It's grown since its inception. Though, she fears many people they used to help have since moved away from the city.
Anything that's left over, she will donate to nearby hospitals, or anyone who needs a meal.
"We'll just go up and down town, if we see a garage open, we'll stop and give them a meal."
There were plenty of people there Thursday who could use a hot meal, though. Some who were serving barely survived the flood surge. Bonnie Whitfield was caught in her car with her husband and three dogs when the flood water rose.
"The water came up so fast and we was in a truck. We had to go out through a sun roof," said Whitfield. "This man comes by with a rope and pulled us out."
Whitfield was one of the kitchen helpers for the Thanksgiving meal. She said it felt right to give back.
Grobert Story, another Waverly resident, lost two homes and all of his vehicles. He said he was there for the food.
"I'm thankful for my life and all of the donations my church has done and everybody else has done. They've been very kind through this process," said Story.
In all, there were hundreds of people who showed up to get food Thursday.