Culture ETX

Culture ETX in downtown Tyler is opening its doors on Thanksgiving for a free community meal.

With no family in the area, Lance McWhorter, owner of Culture ETX, and his wife, Bailey, are opening their Tyler restaurant’s doors on Thanksgiving to share a meal with community members who might be in need.

“Especially during the holidays when it gets cold out, we want people to know that we care about them and want them to have a good dinner too,” McWhorter said.

McWhorter and his wife posted Tuesday on their businesses Facebook page announcing the free meal of stew that will be served from noon to 3 p.m.

They have received hundreds of likes and shares on the post, which McWhorter said he did not expect. He added that he is looking forward to serving the community and helping anyone in need.

After the positive reaction from the community, McWhorter said he and his wife went to the store to buy “a whole lot more stuff.” Numerous people also have offered to bring items such as desserts, containers and other supplies, he said.

The goal is to serve as many people as possible, McWhorter said. If he runs out of stew, he said the restaurant will find something else to serve.

Everyone who needs somewhere to go on Thanksgiving is welcome to come and sit down for a meal at Culture ETX or pick food up to go, he said.

“We may not all know each other, but we’re all connected in some way,” McWhorter said. “We’re all friends.”

As an Iraq War veteran, he said he knows there are a lot of veterans, and others, who need a place to go for a meal, to talk or just be surrounded by other people.

He added it is important to show people they are cared for, and you never know if people are facing a tough time in their life with mental health issues, homelessness or something else.

Having been homeless for awhile as a teenager, McWhorter said he sees others who are experiencing homelessness as people who sometimes need “somebody to look them in the face and smile every once in a while.”

Being able to serve the lonely and needy in the community not only allows McWhorter and his wife to do more, but also encourages others to jump in and help, he said. He added that as a community, everyone needs to do more to help — not just on holidays.

“It’s one of those years that I think we’ve had many gifts come our way that it’s time to start doing more for the community than we already do,” he said.


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