PINK HILL, N.C. (WITN) -Thanksgiving symbolizes togetherness, showing gratitude for what you have, and enjoying a hardy meal.
However, some people don’t experience those things, which is why 12-year-old Josh Stroud of Pink Hill is working to change that by starting his own free food drive.
It started off as just a way to give back.
“It’s exceeded anything that I ever would’ve imagined,” said Josh’s mother, Eve Stroud.
The weekend before Thanksgiving in 2020, 10-year-old Stroud was inspired by a boy on a TV show who’d started his own food drive to help those in need. A week later, he took $65.00 and bought enough goods to launch his own, which started with only 10 boxes. However, the focus was much bigger than himself.
“I said I really want to make this a really big thing in my community,” Stroud said. “So I said, let’s do this again next year and see if we can get it upgraded.”
Unfortunately, the first two years of the drive were filled with highs and lows as Stroud struggled to reach families. He stood on the side of his grandmother’s road and waited for cars to stop.
Luckily, things started to progress in 2021 as he was able to make around 45 boxes, which caught him by surprise.
“It hit me like, I’ve been realizing all this time that I’ve just been doing to help out the community, but I haven’t been realizing how much it’s probably helped out some families that couldn’t afford it,” Stroud said.
But this year’s turkey day will be even better as he has made 75 boxes, which has his mother at a loss for words.
“It’s really warmed my own heart, there’s truly goodness and kindness in the world so I think that there’s something for everyone to take away from this,” Stroud said. “Whether you’re a giver, a receiver, or a volunteer. There’s just no telling the number of lives he’s affected.”
Josh, on the other hand, said he’s looking for the food drive to continue expanding.
“I’m very happy with this year and very excited,” Stroud said. “As you said I’m only 12 and hope it’ll get bigger and bigger. Yeah, I’m just hoping that’ll grow as I get older.”
With this year’s drive shaping up to be the best yet, Stroud feels he couldn’t do any of it without the support from family and friends.
The annual food giveaway will be held this Saturday at the Pink Hill Volunteer Fire Dept starting at 9 a.m.