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Las Vegas family helps make sure community members aren’t alone for Thanksgiving

Local family helps make sure community members aren’t alone for Thanksgiving
Posted at 6:30 PM, Nov 25, 2021

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — A family opened their doors to many who did not have a place to go this Thanksgiving.

Daniel Ellis is an active military member here in Las Vegas who has not had a Thanksgiving dinner with his family in five years. He moved to Vegas from Minnesota to be in the air force, and he says being away from family makes it feel like the holidays are just another regular day.

“A homecooked meal and family time is definitely a lot more than someone can value,” Ellis said.

When Ellis met Charlotte Morgan and Julie Lievo he says he felt welcomed from the very beginning. Charlotte is a pastor at Indigo Valley Church in Las Vegas and Julie works at a rehabilitation center. When they found out Daniel was alone for Thanksgiving, they didn’t think twice to save a seat at their table for him. He says Charlotte and Julie have been like a second family to him.

“It just makes Thanksgiving that much more important, to take a step back and realize what we need to be grateful for that other people don’t have or maybe it is time to reach out and give back to the community,” said Ellis.

The action of giving back is a priority for Charlotte’s church. Just this year her church helped feed 6,000 families for Thanksgiving.

“We need to help those who have paycheck gaps, those who are hungry, those living on the streets, those working and maybe that paycheck just didn’t extend to pay for that turkey,” Morgan said.

She says she and her wife not only want to make sure families do not miss out on a warm Thanksgiving meal but also open their doors to everyone who is in need.

“We are beyond blessed to have these wonderful people who I always say the people who are sitting at this table are our friends who have become family,” Morgan explained.

Another member of their new family is Jocelyn Kampa. Her family moved to Vegas from Wisconsin, and they have no extended family here in the valley.

“it’s nice to have someone who you feel is like your extended family, where you can go over and spend time with them, go over to their house, and have those moments and memories with them,” Kampa said.

Charlotte says this is the true meaning of Thanksgiving. It is a time to be thankful for what you have and for the people who make living in this world worth it.

Charlotte and Julie say they encourage all families to leave an empty seat at their table and light a candle to remember those who couldn’t make it this year and those who no longer are with us.