Man gives away Thanksgiving meals to the homeless in downtown Indianapolis

Austin and volunteers give out food on Nov. 22, 2018

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Sometimes, Thanksgiving shows us how ordinary people can do extraordinarily impactful things.

We caught up with Michael Austin on Georgia Street in downtown Indianapolis Thursday. He was handing out meals to the homeless.

Austin started doing this about five years ago, when he lived in Dallas, Texas. He’s keeping the tradition alive in Indy—and hopes to keep it going for years to come.

“I was always fortunate enough to be blessed, so I felt like giving back to the community here in Indianapolis and the less fortunate people is a chance to do that, especially during a time of giving,” Austin said.

Austin couldn’t do it alone, of course. His stepdaughter and friends helped him give out food.

“And I’ve got pretty much brothers who help me every year, some of them ain’t here, obviously, obligations, and scheduling conflicts,” he said. “But I got three [helpers] and my stepdaughter today.”

Austin said he realizes there are several groups out there who offer meals for the needy, but he considers his effort unique.

“I know always know I always hear people, the naysayers, tell me, ‘Oh, there’s [the] Mozel Sanders [Thanksgiving Day Dinner], there’s other things people can do and get food,’ but there’s no lines with us here. You don’t have to stand outside 45 minutes to get a plate.”