Hundreds of mask-wearing community members visited the Good Neighbor Settlement House to receive a free meal as part of their Thanksgiving celebration.
Entire families showed up Wednesday evening to pick up plates of food to take home. Others decided to sit at one of the tables and eat there while socially distancing from everyone else.
The plates included turkey, stuffing, rice, beans, gravy and pumpkin pie.
“We do this every year,” said Nancy Dimas, board chair of Good Neighbor Settlement House, “and obviously this year is a little different due to COVID. Normally, we would do a lot more interaction with the clients and just making sure that they know that we are grateful for them. It’s been a good response, the numbers are a little higher than what we normally would have at Thanksgiving, but we think it’s because of COVID and the fact that it has affected so many people.”
Dimas said she would like to remind the community that there are a lot of people who are in great need, especially during these times of the COVID-19 pandemic. She said non-profits like Good Neighbor Settlement House are helping the community.
“I would like to remind people that there’s a lot of people out there who need help, and it’s organizations like ourselves that don’t forget about them and we remind people that if they have the time to come and contribute their monetary donations so that we can continue to provide our services or donations that will help continue to keep that circle — so that we are able to give back, because that’s what this time is about: giving back,” she said.
Hugo Zurita, executive director, said Thanksgiving is a day to give thanks for everything you have and GNSH wanted to provide those who need it a nice meal so they could celebrate the special day.
“Thanksgiving is a day to give thanks for everything you have,” he said. “The little, the more that you have and for us, when we decided to have the Thanksgiving dinner we wanted to do a traditional dinner with pumpkin pie, stuffing and all that.”
“Many times our clients are thankful for the services that we give, so, due to COVID it’s a little different, but we wanted to give that special meal, for Thanksgiving so we are giving them that special meal done with love so they can enjoy it.”
Good Neighbor will host a similar event for Christmas Eve and will also do their yearly Toy Drive where they take toys to the children at the Buena Vida community.
“For Christmas we will continue with our Toy Drive that we do every year, where we actually give out toys to the community at Buena Vida. For Christmas Eve, they will be having a meal as well,” he said.
“This time of the year is a time to give thanks and be appreciative, especially right now with COVID, it is a time to be united and a time for us to be whole as a community.”
To donate, visit goodneighborsh.org.