Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Nov. 5, 2020 photo
Associated Press

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday repeated her plea to Michigan residents to limit gatherings at Thanksgiving and keep loved ones safe.

Whitmer’s appeal came as the state health department reported 7,592 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 134 deaths, including 61 that were added after a records review.

“We’re preserving future holiday gatherings together by taking this seriously now, by not gathering with people outside of your household this Thanksgiving,” Whitmer said. “It is an act of kindness and love.”

Picture of United plane
Wikimedia Commons

With one week to go until Thanksgiving many would-be travelers may be changing their tune about traveling.  This, amidst an uptick in coronavirus cases around the nation and pleas from health officials to stay home.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer wearing mask photo
Michigan Office of the Governor / Associated Press

Hospital leaders warned Thursday that more than 3,000 people are hospitalized with the coronavirus in Michigan, a rate that is doubling every two weeks and is expected to top the spring peak of about 4,000 by late this month.

“It’s an accelerating trend. It’s very serious,” said John Fox, president and CEO of Beaumont Health, the state’s largest system. Inpatients with COVID-19 have tripled in less than a month at Beaumont’s eight Detroit-area hospitals, he said.

Celebrating Thanksgiving!

Nov 26, 2019
Hands hold plate of traditional thanksgiving food photo

If you went to an American public school its most likely you learned that Thanksgiving is a celebration of the first meal the pilgrims of Plymouth had with local indigenous people. But Andrea Riley-Mukavetz who is a college professor covering Thanksgiving and Native American history in her classes at Grand Valley State University and is also Ojibwe says there is a different way to talk about this holiday, a way that honors indigenous people. 

Mel Trotter logo
Mel Trotter Ministries

Now in its 22nd year, Mel Trotter Ministries is hosting a free meal for individuals and families experiencing homelessness as well as anyone in the greater Grand Rapids community who might not otherwise have a Thanksgiving meal to attend. 

We used to host the community event at the mission, but it’s grown so much more than just those experiencing homelessness now we host anyone who might not have a community meal, it’s so large.”

pic of plane in sky

It’s the busiest travel time of the year.  The Thanksgiving Holiday this year will see more than 28-million passengers hit the friendly skies.  WGVU talked with a local travel expert about some basic travel tips and how to handle the stress.

“Remember that you’re going to get to your destination, eventually. Keep a smile on your face and pack your patience with you.”

Local Travel expert, JoAnne Verboom with Gagnon Travel offers travel friendly advice for the seasoned and not so frequent traveler.


AAA projects that more than 1.6 million people from Michigan will travel this month for the Thanksgiving holiday. The auto club released its annual forecast on Thursday for people traveling 50 miles (80 kilometers) or more, saying that's up 3.5 percent from last year. AAA says it would be the eighth consecutive year of growth for Thanksgiving travel in Michigan. 

Program to give away 500 free turkeys to needy families

Nov 13, 2017

An annual program will distribute 500 free turkeys to needy families in Pontiac. The 5th Annual Thanksgiving Turkey Giveaway is scheduled to start at 11 a.m. Saturday at Pontiac City Hall. Identification is required. Only one turkey will be given to each household on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Faith leaders unite for Thanksgiving celebration

Nov 25, 2016
Daniel Boothe

Faith leaders in Grand Rapids met for the Community Interfaith Thanksgiving Celebration on Monday as Christian, Atheist, Bhai, Hindu, Jewish and Muslim peoples all gathered to give thanks, and pray for the country. 

During the service, Imam Morsy Salem sang a passage from the Holy Koran. He later explained the scripture’s message.

“The message is that we will take care of our next generations to teach them how to love each other, and how to love one another, because we are all riding the same ship,” Salem said.

Mel Trotter logo
Mel Trotter Ministries

Mel Trotter Ministries is hosting its 20th annual Thanksgiving banquet.  It’s a free meal for those who might be hurting, hungry or homeless. Sometimes those who attend leave with more than a full stomach.

“When people come through the door, it’s nice to see their smiles and the warmth of the season and the community rallying around them, and showing them love when they might not otherwise have a meal.”