MANASSAS, Va. (WDVM) — “A shop that not only fills people bellies but their hearts,” that’s how one staff member of a gourmet candy apple shop described their passion for helping others in need.
For many Thanksgiving this year will not be the same, however, Old Town’s Tummy Yum Yum candy apple shop serves hot Thanksgiving meals along with coats and hygiene items to locals in need.
“God has been very gracious to us, so the more I receive, the more I give out. It’s a blessing on top of blessing and the more I give the more we get,” Sharita Rouse, Tummy Yum Yum owner said.
Last year Rouse along with staff and volunteers served about 80 meals, this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic she expects to see as many as 200 people.
“One night I was sitting in the shop as I first moved in and a guy knocked on my window and said did I have anything to eat? I had soup, so that’s what really sparked me to feed people. I don’t know where they come from, they just come, and I just want to be an extension of their family” said Rouse.
However this year they’re giving back with a twist. Not only can people get food, but volunteers and staff are handing out coats, wipes, feminine hygiene products and gift cards. Staff members said staples are on the menu like turkey, green beans, rolls and sweets.
“The joy that I have for the community stepping up, there’s a sign of relief because I know that people who need it they will show up,” employee Kevin Seiger-Cottoms said. “People will be able to get what they need, so that way their Thanksgiving and their holiday season can be kicked off in a positive way.”
Rouse said she raised about $1,600 in donations to help offset the costs, including a large storage unit for clothing items. Although she doesn’t know her next step for the holidays next year, she said her love for giving back will never die.
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