Amarillo family continues tradition of helping those in need during Thanksgiving

VIDEO: Amarillo family continues tradition of helping those in need during Thanksgiving

AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - For a decade an Amarillo family has cooked double and even triple the amount on thanksgiving to give other families in need of a warm meal.

It all started when a family friend lost her husband around thanksgiving and the family decided to cook her a traditional thanksgiving dinner.

That act of kindness turned into a tradition and now for the past 10 years, this family has fed two to three families each thanksgiving.

The mom, Xockxay Souvannakhily, says giving has always been in her family.

“Growing up, we didn’t have much, because my parents came with nothing,” said Souvannakhily “My mom’s door was always open for people to come into her house whenever she was cooking.”

She says that taught her to always give, even if you don’t have much. Now, that is something she has passed on to her kids through these thanksgiving meals.

They find the families they help, either through word of mouth in the community or even through an open call on social media.

Her oldest daughter, now in college, was 10 years old when this labor started and remembers cooking for the family of a little boy with cancer.

“They couldn’t afford basic necessities like a heater in the house, or electricity, so we made a whole entire meal for them,” said Kongdara “The little boy had said something like, this is the best thanksgiving meal ever, there is so much food.”

Kongdara took that lesson at a young age and growing up volunteered around the community for Snack Pack 4 Kids and the High Plains Food Bank. She now continues to volunteer while in college.

“I always have a piece of Amarillo with me, so it has always been, you know, about helping the community around you that is building you,” said Kongdara “Because also, there’s kids who are 10 years old now and that is what they’re going to remember, that is what they are going to pay forward.”

Last year, Xockxay Souvannakhily, was diagnosed with leukemia and the community stepped up to help them with fundraisers and moral support.

For her, it meant the world to see the community she had been helping, now pull her up.

Due to the circumstances, they did not help families last year. But now are ready to continue this year, especially knowing the pandemic has brought about a lot of need in the community.

They hope others fortunate enough to help, decide to do it this year.

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