By Juli McDonald

PEABODY (CBS) — For the last five years, a Peabody nurse has made Thanksgiving happen for strangers. Last year, she prepped more than 200 meals. It’s a big undertaking – but this year is different.

“I can’t even tell you how many people are messaging me saying, ‘I have been on life support for the last three months and I just got home from COVID. My mother died, my father died, my brother died. I don’t have anywhere to go on Thanksgiving. I don’t have anyone to eat with,’” Gina Goodwin shared.

So the mother of six will feed them. All of them. This year, she’s already received 800 requests.

“How do you choose? You can’t choose. You have to take everybody. You can’t turn away people, not in these times,” she said.

It breaks her heart to see such great need in this pandemic. But strangers’ generosity restores her faith.

“I can’t tell you how many people have messaged me, ‘I can deliver, I can cook, I can shop, I can send money. My kids want to help,’” Goodwin explained.

It’ll take the week prior to deliver all the assembly boxes for families to cook together, and individual meals to be heated.

Just when Goodwin feels overwhelmed, she looks around: “I have beautiful children. My husband is more than supportive. Anything I say I want to do he just does it. I have to do this. I’ve made this commitment. Any commitment I’ve ever made I always fulfill and I will do it, I don’t know how well do it, but we will.”

Goodwin could still use financial and logistical help in reaching this goal. For every $10 donated, her family is matching the amount with a second meal. To support the cause or contact Goodwin, go to her fundraising page on Facebook.

Juli McDonald

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