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'It seems like a big family here' | The feast of sharing in Sutherland Springs

The annual Thanksgiving community meal started one year before the tragic shooting.

SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas — If you drive down US highway 87 east of San Antonio, you’ll find a small gas station across the street from a church. And, on this particular day, you’ll find people filling up with kindness.

“This is my fifth year I do this,” said Terrie Smith. “It’s a gathering to just offer a meal for Thanksgiving to the community.”

Smith sells tacos out of Theresa's Kitchen, her stand in the gas station. But, on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, until they run out, the food is free to all the residents of Sutherland Springs as well as anyone else who happens to come by.

“We have a lot of people that showed up today from the Valley, Corpus Christie, San Antonio Area" Smith said. "We even had a couple come from Kerrville.”

Smith has dubbed herself The Taco Lady, but during this feast of sharing, the plates are filled with turkey, ham and stuffing. The tables are filled with conversation and camaraderie.

“They barely met for the first time,” Lorenzo Flores said, pointing out the pair of men he had been talking with moments before.

“They’ve been talking for over an hour already,” he said.

But now, they gather with good food and friendly faces in front of them and warm memories of those left behind. Flores says there’s nothing quite like it.

“You have your good days, you have your bad days, and then you have your days like this,” he said. “It seems like a big family here in Sutherland Springs.”

Smith also happens to be president of the Community Association in Sutherland Springs and she has a message to share with anyone watching.

“On behalf of Sutherland Springs, we wish everybody a very good, safe, blessed holiday,” she said. “And, come visit us.”