Amie Heath, Mount Pleasant

Third Place (4 of 4)

Honorable mentions

The Thanksgiving season has always been one of my favorites, ushering back fond memories of cool weather, leaves falling and home-cooked goodness.

There were seasons of plenty and some that were rather scarce, but I always knew we would have quality time with family throughout this season.

I have lived in the Charleston area since 2001, and my family lives in Virginia and North Carolina, so Thanksgiving hasnít always been a time with them over the last few years.

As we grow older and have our own families, travel can be tricky and time needs to be split between in-laws. Our Thanksgiving season has come to look much different than the days when we were kids.

Instead, the North Charleston Dream Center has become our family on Thanksgiving Day for the past 5 years, as they coordinate a team of more than 500 volunteers to provide more than 3,000 home-cooked meals to struggling families.

The day starts early at 7 a.m. as hundreds of families that cook extra turkeys, sides and sweets drop off their goodies at the Dream Center. Cars full of kids, moms, dads, aunts and even pets swing by, some on their way out of town to share their abundance with those less fortunate.

Inside the Dream Center, another group of volun- teers hand-packs plates that are individually prepped to head out the door with another team of volun- teers.

These folks have been serving 16 of the most dangerous, crime-ridden streets in North Charleston throughout the year through the Dream Centerís adopt-a-block program. Therefore, they are delivering meals to friends and families.

Although it isnít the Thanksgiving I grew up with, it has been one that has allowed us to recruit our friends and families to help serve, share a warm meal and love on our neighbors. Generosity at its best!