AUSTIN, Texas - Approximately 14,000 people ran in the ThunderCloud Subs Turkey Trot Thanksgiving morning.
The event was held in-person with an optional virtual component. Last year it was entirely virtual because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"It's really nice to be back. Getting out of your home gives it a sense that things are going back to normal, at least a little." said runner Li Matragrano.
The event is a fundraiser for Caritas of Austin, a nonprofit dedicated to ending and preventing homelessness. The ThunderCloud Subs Turkey Trot has raised approximately $4.4 million for the charity in its 31 years of existence.
Executive Director of Caritas Jo Kathryn Quinn says those funds are used in a number of ways -- but mostly to provide clients with services.
"We connect people who are currently experiencing homelessness with permanent housing so they can build their well being and reach their full potential." she explained.
Caritas client Gregory Williams was moved by the crowd. "All these people that care. And that's so that's so great." he said.
Williams told FOX 7 Austin, "without Caritas I wouldn't be standing here now. I wouldn't have the things that I have now."
Williams was homeless eight years ago. Today he is housed. He serves on Austin’s Homelessness Advisory Committee. He also advocates for Caritas at events like the Turkey Trot.
"It means a lot to me because as I drive around, I see so many people still on the street and they don't have to be on the street."