BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Not everyone is lucky enough to have a big Thanksgiving, but the annual Bea Gaddy Thanksgiving allows everyone to have a warm meal.

Marcus Washington reports Bea Gaddy’s tradition has taken on new life.

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Thanksgiving is often a time for family, loved ones and food. But it’s also a day many people go hungry alone.

“I woke up this morning I had nothing in my refrigerator and I’m hungry and thank God for Bea Gaddy,” said Bobby Natzke.

Stories like Natzke’s are what moved Bea Gaddy to take $290 she won from the Maryland State Lottery and feed 49 people from her home. Over time, 49 turned into 35,000.

Family members say it takes a village to make it all happen.

“Everybody throughout the state of Maryland; you have businesses, you have individuals, you have inmates, you have everybody pulling together to help their neighbors. This is the best part of Maryland.”

Hundreds of volunteers come out to help distribute food and clothing to hundreds who show up Thanksgiving day.

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“We promised to Bea Gaddy and to the family that we will continue this effort. It’s just part of Thanksgiving,” said Sen. Nathaniel McFadden, (D) Baltimore City. “I can’t get up on Thanksgiving without thinking first of coming down and serving others.”

“We feel as though if we do not strive to help our fellow man, we’re not using our lives usefully.”

It’s a gesture of love families say they feel from everyone.

“This is my first year doing a Bea Gaddy event, and I think this is pretty awesome to contribute and keep her legacy going for as long as they have,” said Ebony Tyler-El.

On a day of giving thanks, it’s more about showing love to your fellow neighbors.

“Helping our community, giving back. That’s very important to me and along with these young ladies as well,” said Danielle Veney.

For people who weren’t able to make it to the Bea Gaddy Family Center, meals were also delivered.

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