12/22/09 — Local student wants to give back

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Local student wants to give back

By Laura Collins
Published in News on December 22, 2009 1:46 PM

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Sam Thacker is planning a food drive to return thanks for those who helped his family this holiday by running a food drive of his own for other families on Wednesday.

Sam Thacker received a gift for Christmas Friday. On Wednesday, he wants to give a gift to his community in return.

Sam, along with his parents, Melissa and Joseph Thacker, were recommended to the Family Y as being a family who could use a helping hand this Christmas season.

"We just had a really rough year," Mrs. Thacker said. "I lost my Momma. I was in and out of the hospital. My husband had a stroke. By the time, he went back to work, his hours had been cut."

With the help of volunteers at the Family Y, food for the holidays along with money for a Christmas tree, were provided for the family.

Two volunteers also took the Thackers to Walmart to buy toys for Sam this Christmas.

The family's reaction was one of both happiness and thankfulness.

"I just cried and cried," Mrs. Thacker said.

Taking help wasn't easy for the family.

"We've been married for 13 years and we have always managed on our own," Sam's mother said. "This is the first year we haven't known what to do. He's been a very brave young man. He always said, 'I understand.'"

Mrs. Thacker said the help they received gave her a renewed faith in people.

"I didn't know there were people out there like this anymore. To not even know me or my family and still help. I'm just amazed. I don't know how I'll ever thank them," Mrs. Thacker said.

They might not be able to thank their supporter, but Sam, who is 11, plans on holding his own food drive to help give back to other people who might be in need during the holidays.

"After what everyone had done for us, I thought I should do something for the community," he said. "What better than a food drive? Everyone needs food, even more than shelter and water."

The food drive will begin at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the Brooklyn Pizzeria at 913 N. Spence Ave. in Goldsboro.