NAHANT, MA – A Nahant resident since 1981, George Markos has been selected as the Person of the Year for the town in Massachusetts, The Daily Item reported, for his dedication to community service.
Markos “may be most known for the free Thanksgiving meal giveaway each year at Brothers Deli in Lynn, where he has given away nearly 50,000 traditional turkey dinners over 27 years,” The Daily Item reported, adding that “each year, people who do not have somewhere else to go for the holiday or may be struggling with homelessness and hunger, pack into the establishment, where meals are served from morning to mid-afternoon to anyone who stops by. This year, Markos and dozens of volunteers cooked and served more than 1,000 turkey dinners.”
Markos, 60, gives back throughout the year as well, donating food to “local groups and organizations in the Lynn community, including My Brother’s Table, the Lynn Emergency Shelter, Catholic Charities, the House of Hope Church and the Osmund, a former hotel that provides semi-independent living and case management.”
Following his selection as the Nahant 2019 Person of the Year, Markos told The Daily Item, “I still don’t think I do enough. I think I owe it to people big-time. Without the support of the people — they gave me power. They gave me happiness. So, these things get you going in life. If people don’t give you the courage to work and be strong, you can’t do it. I don’t care how much money you have. You cannot go anywhere.”
According to The Daily Item, “Markos first opened his popular cafeteria-style deli in Lynn in 1981. He closed the business five years later to open a restaurant in Boston, but found the commute to be exhausting and jumped on the chance to reopen in his former location on Market Street about a decade later.”
“There was an opportunity to be home. I felt more comfortable here because I had a connection here,” said Markos, The Daily Item reported.
Though there was some struggle at first when restarting the business, Markos told The Daily Item that “the financial strain did not stop him from making donations at any point” and “the importance of giving back was instilled in him as a child. His family didn’t have much while he was growing up in Greece and eventually came to the United States for a better life. But despite their own limited means, he said his parents did not think twice about giving food to others, which was a life lesson he built upon in his adult years.”
“One of the greatest lessons of my life (is) people are people. Nobody’s different,” Markos said, The Daily Item reported, adding that “what he’s built at Brothers Deli is worth more than money — it’s a community.”
Whenever he has helped out with loaning a few dollars to those in need who come into the deli, they have always repaid their debts, Markos told The Daily Item, which noted that “Markos, who had trouble with learning the language and making ends meet after immigrating to the United States, knows what it is like to struggle.”
“Giving back brings him happiness, he said, and he makes sure to thank God every day for what He gave him — friends and a beautiful family, notably his wife, two children, a grandson and soon, another grandchild,” The Daily Item reported.
“Everything has an effect on your life, whatever you have in mind, you can do it. Don’t look at people as a plague. Don’t try to screw anybody. Don’t try to be in anybody’s way. There’s enough room for everybody,” Markos told The Daily Item.