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'Cleveland is the most generous city': Northeast Ohioans help their communities for Thanksgiving

People across Northeast Ohio will spend time helping out their neighbors this Thursday for Thanksgiving.

CLEVELAND — As families across the country give thanks this Thursday, many here in Northeast Ohio will spend the day giving to others.

"I think Cleveland is the most generous city that I know of, no matter what the need is they seem to meet it," said Meghan Pitrak with Catholic Charities.

Pitrak spent time Wednesday at St. Augustine in Tremont, prepping Thanksgiving meals for those in need.

The St. Augustine Hunger Center has provided Thanksgiving meals for 33 years. This year, Catholic Charities will provide around 12,000 meals to families in need. The supplies that are being used for their meals come mostly from donations.

"I had a gentlemen come on a bike today with a jar that he had filled with pennies that he brought in memory of his late wife," said Pitrak. "To see somebody give you pennies that he probably doesn't have to spare to make sure other people have something, I think that really speaks to what Cleveland does for its own."

From Tremont to Hinckley, many Ohioans will spend Thanksgiving helping others.

"At the end of the day we celebrate giving back," said Pete Meadows, who is part of the Meadows Turkey Bowl football tournament.

Meadows' father, Mike, started the game 33 years ago and it's still thriving today, having raised more than $3 million for the St. Vincent DePaul Society. More recently, it has also focused on cancer research.

"About eight years ago we pivoted and started helping families who are battling cancer," said Meadows.

The tournament's significance changed about three years ago, when Pete Meadows was diagnosed with brain cancer.

"Now I'm on the other side of the table, I was diagnosed with oligodendroglioma, so it's a slow growing tumor," said Meadows.

This year, the tournament's significance has changed once again, and will now honor the daughter Pete and his wife lost.

Some of the proceeds from the Thanksgiving football tournament will now go to the Gianna Rae Meadows Fund. It was created to honor Meadows' daughter's life, and raise money to research the cancer that he has battled.

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