One well-kept secret here at Family Promise is that we provide two Thanksgiving dinners to hungry, homeless, and needy people every Thanksgiving. Some things you should know about these events:
- We have more than enough volunteers—Thanksgiving is the biggest volunteer day of the year and almost everyone who volunteers comes back year after year. We have a plan in place that begins in September each year. There are planning meetings that every volunteer must attend.
- There is no budget for this event. All the food, supplies, entertainment, and decorations are provided by others. (Cool, right?)
- We are joined by many dignitaries. The photo here is of Senator Bob Menendez, Tommy Mergola, our volunteer Thanksgiving Coordinator, and Rep. Josh Gottheimer.
- We need your help in other capacities. There are lots of ways to help Family Promise all year round. Please call the office for information.
These are the results of our Thanksgiving efforts this year (2018):
- We served about 325 guests and 500 meals (with about 200 meals to go).
- We collected 303 turkeys and 40 hams (260 turkeys went to our friends at the Center for Food Action to distribute to families in need and the rest were for our dinner). Last year, we gave CFA 152, so we donated 108 more this year—a great accomplishment.
- We donated 23 baked and canned hams to CFA.
- We raised 92 pounds of shrimp and served 84 pounds of it.
- We made 500 goody bags and distributed about half of them. The balance was donated to the Bergen County Housing, Health and Human Services Center for later use.
- In addition to the dinners, we raised thousands of items for our food drive. There were thousands of canned items, packaged food, beverages, and many other products. All items were donated to CFA on the Friday after Thanksgiving.
Thanks to all who donated and participated. It was a wonderful day.