Posted at: 07/04/2013 8:00 PM
Updated at: 07/05/2013 12:13 AM
By: Naomi Pescovitz
The average cost of a picnic this Fourth of July is $5.72 cents per person, but to some that meal is priceless.
This holiday, Helen Green of St. Paul, spread a flavor of kindness by hosting a barbecue for veterans and the homeless.
"Society is not a bad place. It really isn't. It's what you make it. You live, you be strong, and you just have to have love in your heart," Green said.
For nearly 20 years, Green has lived in a home built by Habitat for Humanity.
"It went up in 18 days. People from all around the world came there to build that home and it was such a wonderful site to see. And I'll never forget that day. Ever," Green said.
The idea to have a community barbecue this holiday started in her garage.
"My 17-year-old Donell, was like 'Mom, you know, lets do something different,'" Green said.
Green spent what she could. Her neighbors and even strangers chipped in. There were hundreds of brats, burgers, ribs and chicken, enough food for 200 people. Volunteers helped cook the food which Green prepared with her own recipes.
"This way here at least I know I was a part of giving somebody a smile," said volunteer Pat Kieffer while grilling a slab of ribs.
Green has three children and now works as a painter. She hopes her kindness this holiday means more than a meal to those in need.
"This is one of the most precious things you can do for somebody in this world that needs it the most," said Stephanie Williams of St. Paul at Thursday's barbecue.
"People like these people that came here to help today, it's what makes me even stronger, it makes me know that you are doing the right thing. No matter what the outcome is. This is the right thing that I was supposed to do. I was supposed to do this today," Green said.
Green hopes to host an even larger Fourth of July barbecue next year.