Unprecedented Need Met with Our Parish Family’s Love and Action
Our turkey and pie donations, from all sources, totaled 231 whole turkeys, plus 20 additional full trays of carved, cooked turkey, and 283 pies. While we had some remaining turkey that we were able to donate, all of the pies were distributed. We also exhausted 2,496 bottles of water, through our distribution to guests and consumption by our volunteers. Due to the diligence and hard work of our ticket collectors, we are able to confidently say that we served a minimum of 2,215 meals! That’s an increase of 30%, or greater, over last year’s event. A monumental effort by all!
Our new strategies to get food hot, and keep it hot – while challenging at times – produced a solid result. Many of our guests were delighted with the change from potatoes to rice and beans, and I am questioning whether the publication of the menu in community flyers had anything to do with the increase in attendance. No scientific proof, just a thought.
The rice, as many of you know, was prepared by Iguana Mia in Bonita Springs. This was an extraordinary gift as the restaurant was closed on Thanksgiving Day and opened the kitchen for this purpose only. Cooks met in the middle of the night to prepare the 150 pounds of dry rice and turn it into the delicious product we were able to serve our guests. We are planning a volunteer lunch at Iguana Mia to show our thanks by our patronage. More details to come as they develop.
Finally, to you, the volunteers. You gave precious holiday and family time to this effort to feed people you don’t even know. You jumped right in, did whatever you were asked, got dirty, worked hard, and worked together. You got up early, and in some cases, drove an hour to get to the park. It was as unmistakable a display of Christian kindness and charity as I have ever seen. You truly did follow Jesus’ instruction to “Feed my sheep”. And you did it gladly.
Thank you to those of you who took on a job that you hadn’t expected. Your generous spirit secured our successful outcome. Thank you to those of you who volunteered only to be disappointed by a lack of open positions or an early finish to our shredding work. Your willingness to sit the bench provided me with the confidence that, no matter what, there would be hands to get the job done. Thank you to those of you who worked through the heat and smoke of the burners and grill. Your sacrifice assured the service of a hot meal. And finally, thank you to those of you who encouraged me throughout the day. Your words fed ME.
I look forward to having the opportunity to serve with you on a future project.
Blessings to all,