By Anna Meiler

PEABODY (CBS) – A nurse from Peabody is working incredibly hard to make sure families can enjoy a nice Thanksgiving. Gina Goodwin is providing more than 3,000 meals for people in need this year.

Goodwin started this mission five years ago by cooking and delivering fifty hot meals for people on Thanksgiving. Last year it was up to 250.

The pandemic made the need in 2020 greater than ever – an astounding 3,312 dinners.

“Shocked, absolutely shocked. But then again, we’re living in unprecedented times,” she told WBZ-TV. “They’ve lost their job, they have children they can’t provide a meal for, family has been sick and they’re caring for them, they’ve been sick themselves with Covid, and they’re not able to physically go out and shop.”

Goodwin didn’t say no to a single request.

“It’s heart wrenching. If we can help somebody by feeding them, why not?”

More than 100 volunteers from neighboring communities pitched in. Deb Pursell’s daughters packed cups of cranberry sauce and drew festive cards while her son made deliveries.

“My son said it put a lot of smiles on people’s faces,” Pursell said. “It touched our hearts to make people feel a little bit better on Thanksgiving.”

Goodwin’s six adopted kids also played a big role. She says seeing them enjoy giving back is the best gift.

“When my 4-year-old said last night, ‘Momma, so many people have good bellies full of food tomorrow,’ that was the best. That was really the best,” she said.

Gina Goodwin. (Image credit: The Drew Barrymore Show)

Goodwin was recently recognized for her kindness on “The Drew Barrymore Show,” where Whole Foods gave her a $5,000 gift card. Barrymore matched the donation for a total of $10,000.

For the first time ever, Goodwin is taking requests for Christmas, so her hard work continues.

She’s not even taking a break on Thanksgiving Day. Instead, she’s working as a nurse visiting patients in their homes and also bringing them meals.

Anna Meiler