The wife of a local doctor, Amanda Williams, spearheaded a drive to feed close to 200 local families a full Thanksgiving meal.
On Nov. 19, Amanda parked outside of the Taco Cabana with an SUV loaded up with a variety of goods to make up a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Using only social media and through word of mouth, people from Waxahachie, Ennis, Corsicana and even as far as Grand Prairie trickled in and out with grocery bags full or turkeys, dressing and all the fixings.
With the positive turn out, Amanda saw a real need. She knew she had to go back another day. When she arrived for day two, a line of people stretched in the parking lot to greet her.
As she worked her way down the line handing off turkeys, Amanda took the time to listen and emphasize with each unique situation.
A single mom of three kids drove from Glen Heights to be able to provide a home cooked meal for her family.
Her best friend that rode with her described the mother's situation. She said, “Her mom just left and she will be gone for awhile, and she’s been struggling. She’s got three kids and is a single mom. Her mom is gone, so it’s kind of hard being just her. So I thought it'd be good for her and would help out.”
One Waxahachie resident waited in line for her son who has cancer of the kidney. He was diagnosed with stage four cancer in December 2015. Over the years, cancer has spread to his lungs, spleen and pancreas. She mentioned how the cost of treating the disease “robbed him of his dignity, emotionally, financially, mentally and physically.”
But those were just a few situations. A couple of stories Amanda heard really resonated and influenced her to go above and beyond for them, taking them grocery shopping and then giving them hefty gift cards.
“Almost everyone that I’ve come in contact with have lost jobs, lost family members, we’ve gotten a lot of single moms. So a few of those, we did go the extra mile and got them taken care of with gift cards to Walmart and loaded them up with groceries,” Amanda said.
Amanda shared that she’s struggled and been through a hardship in her life. She said she feels very blessed to be able to give to others who are less fortunate.
“Now 10 years ago, my life was a different story, and I probably would have been in this line with these people,” Amanda said. “It’s a very good, humbling feeling to know that God has blessed my husband and my family in the way that he has and that we’re fortunate that we can help others.”
When reflecting 10 years ago, Amanda said, “Someone reached out to me when I was in that spot, and I made a promise to God, if he ever put me in a position to help, I’m going to help. That’s what we do, we believe in helping others.”
This holiday season, Amanda fulfilled that promise.
“This community has given so much to us, support and love. We wanted to give back to them because this is our home. We want to take care of the people. That’s one of the things we love about Ellis County that it’s like a big family,” Amanda said.
At the end of day-two, Amanda traveled to 20 homes to deliver Thanksgiving meals to those who were physically unable to make it to the Taco Cabana.
With there being an abundance of foot traffic on the second day, Amanda called for reinforcements, her husband Kevin, who owns Ennis Orthopedics.
Kevin explained this was the first time their family gave directly, instead of donating to an organization.
Even though Kevin was there for a fraction of the amount of time his wife was, he was able to hear people’s stories, and they too resonated with him.
“When you hear these stories you think, that could easily be me. My wife and I were talking about this, and that’s one of the things we thought about was ‘someday you never know, we may be in a position where we need somebody’s help,” Kevin said.
After seeing the line of locals, Kevin realized there is a lot of people who are in need. He said he hopes their actions will stimulate other to help any way they can.
“My family and I have been really blessed. Anybody who knows my family knows, like every family, we have a lot going on ourselves, but there’s always someone who is in more need than you. It’s always a good feeling to give to others,” Kevin said.
Disclosure: According to an April 10 Daily Light article, a federal grand jury indicted Dr. Kevin Williams March 24 after he and seven others — Jamshid Noryian, Dehshid Nourian, Christopher Rydberg, Ashraf Mofid, Leyla Nourian, Leslie Benson, and Michael Taba — were alleged to have conspired in a $158 million healthcare fraud scheme. The legal process is still ongoing and Williams has not yet stood trial.
As the defense and prosecution continue to work toward a future trial date, in a conversation with the Daily Light the Williams family emphasized their desire for the legal process to play out and for “innocent until proven guilty” to remain at the forefront.