Updated: Thursday, 26 Nov 2009, 9:21 PM MST
Published : Thursday, 26 Nov 2009, 9:21 PM MST
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Two Albuquerque businesses on Thursday thanked dozens of Albuquerque foster parents for providing good homes to many kids.
“Lots of kids needed places to go and it just kind of happens,” foster parent Angie Newman said.
Angie Newman’s family of nine includes five adopted children and two foster sons. They adopted Robert Harris, 13, when he was 7.
“I understood that they loved me and wanted to take care of me,” Harris said.
The family sat among dozens of other families Thanksgiving day to enjoy an American tradition, but this meal was a little different: it was free.
Sitting a few tables away was the Huddleston family, a family with six children.
“Most of our children are Native American, some are not, but all kids need love. It doesn't matter what race they are,” foster parent Mark Huddleston said.
The Huddlestons have one biological son, three adopted daughters, one foster child, and a grandson under their roof. They said they spent $500 on Thanksgiving last year. This year they didn’t spend a dime.
“These are the real heroes in this community,” said Sandiago’s Grill spokesman Rorik Rivenburgh.
Six months ago, Sandiago’s Grill and U.S. Foods decided to provide Thanksgiving dinners for dozens of Albuquerque foster families: 240 people total.
The cost off all the meals was well into the thousands.
“It's not about the money, it's about the love,” Rivenburgh said.
A group of 30 volunteers from Sandiago’s at the base of the Sandia Peak Tramway and High Finance Restaurant at the top of the tram put their Thanksgiving on hold so they could feed families they barely met on Thursday.
“That’s the best part, that’s the best part, they're smiling when they see their turkey and drumsticks,” volunteer server Jordan Layman said.
Layman said it was his best role on Thanksgiving.
It's the first time the free meal was offered at Sandiago’s Restaurant.
Sandia Peak Tramway also gave by cutting the cost for a tram ride for the foster families.