BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - For many western New Yorkers, Thanksgiving isn't just about turkey and football, it's about helping others.
Buffalo's mayor was literally "serving" his constituents at the Salvation Army with wife Michelle next to him and son Byron close by.
"And it's certainly very rewording. Our way of us saying thank you for the blessings that we have in our lives, and giving back to the community," Mayor Byron Brown said.
When Buffalo's first family is dishing it out expectations on the receiving end can run high.
Michell Brown said, "Everybody wants extra gravy on their turkey. That's been their special request today."
The volunteer they call "Shorty" over at the Buffalo City Mission helped to distribute meals that fed close to 5,000 needy people. "Shorty" grew up poor and is doing all he can to make sure people don't go hungry.
"I've been very blessed in my life. I decided there's other people need blessings, so makes me want to come out here and help. I thank God that I'm able to do something," he said.
Over at the Response to Love Center, more than 250 people were treated to Thanksgiving dinners. The broken boiler here didn't seem to hamper the celebration.
Executive Director Sister Mary Johnice said, "The warmth of the volunteers who have been serving the people, the warm stove here, and people coming together. The joy and the love that's been shared brought the warmth."One disturbing trend is that more children are showing up. Betrina Chestnut, who is raising her grandchildren, had spent much of her life helping those who were mentally challenged. A back injury put an end to her work. Her family is one of many receiving help.
"I'm just grateful that we have something to eat and I'm grateful that my grandkids are going to be blessed with Christmas because of them," Chestnut said.
Mayor Brown noted that Buffalo, long known as the nation's third poorest city, no longer has that title. He said Thursday that so many other cities are faring worse than Buffalo that the Queen City is now the eighth poorest city - and that's something to be thankful for.
Police say they had the wrong man, and that Jerome Thagard, who spent four years in prison, didn't murder Steven Northrup in 2009. But the victim's family says otherwise.
A Good Samaritan died Wednesday while trying to assist the driver of a tractor trailer who got stuck in the snow.
A 26-year-old male employee of Ying's Wings and Things told police that Haibo Jiang, also known as Jimmy Ying, choked him until he passed out.
Investigators are making progress in the case of a Chihuahua thrown in a ditch while zipped up in a Coors Light thermal bag.
A registered nurse from Lockport has admitted concealing her knowledge of her boyfriend's drug dealing activities.
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