MELROSE, MASS. (WHDH) - A man in Melrose continued a decades-long tradition Thursday by offering free Thanksgiving meals for those who need a little something extra to be thankful for. 

Scott Macaulay has held the tradition for nearly 40 years. He had to make some changes in delivery due to the pandemic. Recently speaking to 7NEWS, though, he said he is always happy to help out his community.

“They’re not just names,” Macaulay said as he handed out food this week. “They’re people. They’re people with a story.” 

For the broken and the forgotten, Macaulay has always had a hot meal and a shoulder to lean on over the years. 

This year, Macaulay said he gave out more than 100 meals. 

“You get sort of attached to them,” he said of the people receiving meals. 

“Then, there’s different ones you remember more than others,” he continued. “Some of them are funny and some of them are sad.”

Nicole Stanley said she lost her mother a few days after Thanksgiving last year. 

“Scott was the first phone call,” she said. 

For Macaulay, the work is not just a Thanksgiving tradition but a lesson in gratitude.

“They’re individuals and, if they share their story, that makes it not just a name on my list,” he said. “It makes them a person, a real live person.”

He said he has people write down what they’re thankful for.

“It gives them a place to come and go and get a meal and it makes the day better than it would be if it would be if I’m not here, I guess,” Macaulay said.

Macaulay continued, saying it will all be worth it if one less person is alone for the holidays.  

“As long as there’s a need, I guess I got to keep doing it,” he said. “I might be doing it with a cane, but I’ll keep doing it as long as I can.”

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