The meaning of Thanksgiving: One woman's story - | WBTV Charlotte

The meaning of Thanksgiving: One woman's story

For some people, Thanksgiving Day is about the food. For others, it's about giving thanks. For Latoya Grier, it's about a journey that took her to the lowest point in her life to now.

Grier says "Thanksgiving is about what you're thankful for besides food".

Grier spent a couple of hours Thanksgiving Day volunteering to serve food to those who needed a meal.

"I was once there before so it feels great to give back to people who don't have."

Three years ago, Grier - a young mother - was losing hope.

"Going through hard times - me and my family - and I was forced to leave where we were living. I had no where else to go. I went to a shelter".

She says she stayed at the Salvation Army Women's Shelter in Charlotte. It wasn't easy.

Grier says "it was just very hard to sleep there at night on cots, in bed with all the other people - very hard and depressing".

She says the counselors at the shelter were beacons of hope and showed her how to get back on her feet.  "They showed me how to get a job, I got a job. They told me I had to save money. I saved money", she says. 

The shelter put her in touch with Charlotte Family Housing - and workers there helped her find a permanent place to live.

"I felt like a million bucks when I first got my first apartment. My kids were running around", says Grier.

For Grier, it's more than an apartment. "It's having a home. Having something that's mine - that I accomplished. Having something over my head. I'm able to support and provide for my kids. So it was very important. Once I got there I felt secure", the 23-year old says.

While volunteering on Thanksgiving Day, she saw reminders of her life from years ago that now make Thanksgiving more than just a day.

"It's important for me not to go back to where I was... Thanksgiving means being thankful for what you have. I'm thankful for the job I have. The apartment I have. My kids. My mother", says Grier

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