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Chesapeake man volunteers on Thanksgiving to feed people at The Salvation Army men's shelter

A few dozen men and women showed up to the shelter to receive a hot meal on Thanksgiving day.

NORFOLK, Va. — While many of us are giving thanks, some people spend the holiday giving back.

It’s an annual tradition for one Chesapeake man: volunteering his time at Salvation Army Hope Center in Norfolk.

“There’s always somebody down on their luck a little bit worse than you,” explained Justin Sipe.

He said he started volunteering his time with The Salvation Army about four years ago, after working on a job with the organization a few years back. On Thursday, he handed out a hot meal to the homeless.

“I feel really good," Sipe said. "My whole family knows that they probably won’t see me on Thanksgiving or Christmas morning when I’m here.”

Several men showed up for the free meal on Thursday.

“These are guys that may not have a family or somewhere to go sit down and have a meal, but they can always come here and do it, and they are part of our family here," Sipe said.

It’s an open door filled with love and laughter, but leaders with The Salvation Army said it’s much more than that.

“I think it gives them encouragement, hope. It lets them know that people care. I will pray that it will let them know that there are ways and facilities that are here to help and assist them in all that they might be dealing with and going through,” said Michael Devon Alston, with the organization.

The men who received the hot turkey, stuffing, gravy and potatoes told 13News Now that they were thankful for food, and Sipe said that’s why he does what he does.

“It’s probably the best Thanksgiving and Christmas I’ve had in my 37 years,” he said.

After cleaning up, Sipe said he’ll do what most people do after cooking a big meal.

"I’ll just go home and take a nap like I did eat because, ya know, being around turkey makes you tired, much less if you eat it.”

Justin Sipe said he would leave with his heart filled with happiness.

The Salvation Army is always looking for volunteers. If you would like to donate your time, click here.