Thousands in need receive community support, enjoy Thanksgiving meal at Vivint Smart Home Arena

SALT LAKE CITY — Team Hill Airmen partnered with community organizations Nov. 16 during an outreach event that benefited Utah’s needy.

The annual event known as “We Care — We Share” was held at Vivint Smart Home Arena in downtown Salt Lake City. 

Gail Miller, Larry H. Miller Group of Companies owner, was proud to host the 17th annual event.

“The holidays are a time for reflection and gratitude,” said Miller in a press release. “The Miller family has been blessed to be able to help provide a festive gathering and hot meals for the last 17 years to Salt Lake residents who are experiencing hardships. We are grateful to be able to share our blessings with our community.”

Miller joined personnel from the Salt Lake City Mission, Utah Food Services and All-Star Catering, Larry H. Miller Sports & Entertainment and Hill Air Force Base to serve Thanksgiving meals and smiles to grateful homeless and low-income residents.

“This event is one of the most important of the year because it shows us the magnitude of the problem we have in the homeless community,” said Miller. “We try to help the homeless have a normal Thanksgiving meal and we are grateful to do this little bit.”

Last year, 3,800 meals were served and this year’s number was expected to be greater. This year’s event also included the distribution of winter clothing items and activity packs for children, as well as musical entertainment.

Those in need formed a long line outside the arena in anticipation of the community support available inside. Gary Frank and son Liam, of Salt Lake City, were particularly grateful for the support on what turned out to be a cold, windy winter day. Frank, a single parent of three, has been homeless for several years.

“The Road Home (homeless shelter) and … arena owners have helped out a lot,” said Frank. “It’s been a blessing.”

Darien Perez, Nicholas Sanchez, and McKethan Campbell, all Airmen from Hill AFB, participated in the event and were happy to volunteer a few hours of their time serving meals to community members in need.

“Volunteering is an important aspect of being in the military,” said Campbell. “We sign up to protect people, but also to serve. This is just one way to give back.”