ROCK SPRINGS — For the fourth year in a row, Sapporo Japanese Steakhouse in Rock Springs has put together 30 bags of Thanksgiving meals for families in need.
Sapporo manager Jerry Zhang started putting together the meals during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, and has kept the giving going.
“In 2020 when Covid just broke out, I thought that the community supports me and my business so much already and I felt grateful to our community. During Covid it was a hard time for most of our people, so I wanted to give away meals to help people, especially on Thanksgiving. It is the day that we show thanks to people,” Zhang told SweetwaterNOW. “I believe an act of kindness goes far beyond what words can express. After I did this in 2020, then it become a very significant thing for me on every Thanksgiving.”
To put the meals together, Zhang went shopping at Walmart with his wife. The meals include turkey, a gravy packet, mashed potatoes, corn, green beans, vegetables, dinner rolls, cranberry sauce, spices, stuffing, sweet potatoes and marshmallows. All of the items were paid for by Zhang and Sapporo.
“I still remember that first year before I went shopping for the Thanksgiving meals, I ask couple of my teenager team members because they are local and they knew what kinds of goods that I should buy for Thanksgiving’s meals,” Zhang recalled. “I also learn a lot of different cultures and fun things from my local team members at Sapporo, which I feel thankful to them as well.”
Zhang said that many of those teen team members have now left to college but he is grateful for the memories of working with them.”They’ve all gone to college or university to chase their dreams. I wish for them all to have beautiful futures.”
Zhang believes in giving back to the community, as they support him and his business, but also because this is his home. He believes in taking care of his neighbors.
“This is my 15th year living in the United States, and eight years living in Wyoming. In 2023, I have officially become an American citizen and my two boys were born in Wyoming. Sweetwater county is my second hometown now, I do my best to show how much i appreciate our community.”