Homeless shelter gives 'thanks' for holiday help on Thanksgiving

The Thanksgiving holiday is a time for many to give thanks.

"If you've got good health give thanks for that," Pastor Bill Reagan said. "If you've got a family to sit down at a table with give thanks for that."

But for the less fortunate, a free Thanksgiving feast, like the one served each year at Loaves & Fishes on E street in Harlingen, is reason enough to be thankful.

Bill Reagan, who TMs also the shelter's executive director, says people from all walks of life turn to them to enjoy a warm holiday meal, not just the homeless.

"We have people who come into the dining room who have steady jobs and who are very regular citizens who are just having a rough patch," he explained.

More than a dozen volunteers help to feed the hungry and bring true bring meaning to the holiday, according to Reagan.

"It just makes them feel good."

To help make the 2013 Thanksgiving feast even more special at the shelter this year, Action 4's Ryan Wolf set up a Pay it 4Ward surprise in the dining room a week before the holiday.

"I want to bring my producer in because she's going to have some questions for you," Ryan said to the shelter's executive director.

Bill doesn't know it, but Karen Gonzalez is pretending to be an Action 4 News producer as she asks him questions.

That's when Ryan lets him in on the secret.

"She's really not a producer," Ryan said.

"Oh she's not?" Bill asked.

"We're trying to pull off this surprise," Ryan explained. "Karen is actually from FNB Insurance Agency. She's our Pay it 4Ward partner."

"You didn't do that did you?" Bill questioned.

"I did!" Ryan said laughingly.

"We're here because we want to let you know that just knowing there will be people receiving a warm, delicious meal on Thanksgiving... meals that they might not have been able to have... just warms our heart and makes us incredible happy to be able to present this money to you," Karen told Bill.

She hands him $400.

It's cash to some but meals to bill.

He says the money will buy 250 more meals for the holidays.

"I'm so very grateful for your support for us and this will go a long way to do that work that we do," he said. "Happy Thanksgiving and Pay it 4Ward!" Click here to join Ryan Wolf TMs Facebook PageClick here to follow Ryan Wolf on TwitterClick here to nominate somebody for the Pay it 4Ward prize