Thousands Flock to Grateful Gobbler

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — People laced up their running shoes to participate in the Grateful Gobbler.

It benefits the Maclellan Shelter for Families.

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Leeaundry Woolfolk and his family get ready for Thanksgiving in their new home.

They’ve lived there for a week and a half, all because of the Maclellan Shelter for Families.

“We are overly thankful,” Woolfolk said. “There is no gratification that can go above how we feel we would do a lot to just support the Maclellan Shelter.”



About a month ago, the family was on their way to Birmingham when they got stranded in Chattanooga.

A Chattanooga Police officer helped them contact shelters. They ended up being able to stay at the Maclellan Shelter.

“All I had to do was find me a job,” Woolfolk said. “They found us a place to go within the first three weeks of us staying there and the same day they found us housing was the same day I found a job and from there it just took off. It skyrocketed.”

On Thursday morning over at Coolidge Park, about 4,800 people participated in the Grateful Gobbler 5K walk, run, roll or stroll.

All proceeds benefit the Maclellan Shelter for Families.

“The shelter was built four years ago and over that we are in our fifth year and we have served over 600 families,” said Stan McCright, Grateful Gobbler Co-Director. “So this money goes to run that shelter, pay the electric bills and help the family in their transition from homelessness back to a sustainable economic unit.”

They estimate this event raised between $200,000 and $225,000.

“$200,000 of that goes to run the shelter, the other money will go this year to help pay for daycare, so when the parent goes to look for a job, we have the ability to care for the children and pay for the transportation to get that done,” McCright said.

For families going through similar situations, Woolfolk has advice.

“Stick together, don’t let nothing or no one pull you apart. As far as for people who are by themselves or feel like they are by themselves, you know, keep your head up. Keep moving forward,” Woolfolk said.

If you are interested in donating to the Maclellan Shelter, click here.