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YMCA Celebrating 25 Years of Serving Free Thanksgiving Meals to Community

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Thanksgiving is a holiday most of us would associate with a hot meal that makes us so full, we don’t even have room for dessert.

But we eat it anyway. We taste every pie or cobbler until we’re certain we can’t take another bite. And then we have some more.

Sadly, many families don’t have enough to eat. Thanksgiving is just another day for them. For 25 years the YMCA has been trying to change that.

Each November, the YMCA of Johnson City, New York, hosts their annual Thanksgiving dinner for anyone who wants to join — free of charge.

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“It’s something that is really special and that warms your heart,” Branch Executive Director Gerry Gessie told WBNG.

“It’s a time to have a meal and have some items that ordinarily they wouldn’t have,” he told WICZ. “So it really is heartwarming and something we get a great joy out of.”

WICZ reported hundreds of community members attended the meal on Sunday, Nov. 11. Donations were also made. Attendees were given food, clothing, blankets and books to take home following the dinner.

Do you volunteer during the holiday season?

“We’re confronted with people that are just so thankful and so appreciative. It really feels good to give,” Gessie said.

West Family Branch isn’t the only YMCA getting into the holiday spirit. Thanksgiving baskets are being collected by North Valley Family YMCA in Northridge, California, as well.

“Each family receives a food basket containing a frozen turkey, fresh produce, and non-perishable canned goods for their holiday meal,” the Facebook event page reads.”Families can also choose to receive a grocery store gift card if they do not have the means to cook a frozen turkey.”

North Valley has made it their goal to provide meals for 3,600 families! Wow! What a way to show love to those in need!

Valley of the Sun YMCA in Phoenix is also hosting a Thanksgiving basket drive. “Help make Thanksgiving special for a family in need,” the event page says.

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These branches are a select few of the many YMCA locations that help make holiday meals possible for families or individuals who are struggling.

If you are in need of a meal this season, or if you’ve been blessed and want to donate, contact your local “Y” and find out how you can get involved.

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Sarah Carri is an avid reader and social media guru with a passion for truth and life. Her writing has previously been published in print and online by Focus on the Family and other well known media outlets. Her experience in ministry and Disney entertainment gives her a unique perspective on such topics.
Sarah Carri is an avid reader and social media guru with a passion for truth and life. Her writing has previously been published in print and online by Focus on the Family and other well known media outlets. Her experience in ministry and Disney entertainment gives her a unique perspective on such topics.

Sarah's experience as a successful working stay-at-home mom and business owner has given her the chance to write and research often. She stays up to date on the latest in entertainment and offers her views on celebrity stories based on her wide knowledge of the industry. Her success as a former preschool teacher and licensed daycare provider lend to her know-how on topics relating to parenting and childhood education.

Her thoughts on faith and family issues stem from home life and ministry work. Sarah takes time to attend workshops and classes annually that help her to improve and hone her writing craft. She is a graduate of the Institute of Children's Literature program and her writing has been acclaimed by ACFW and ECPA.
Education
Institute of Children's Literature, Art Institute of Phoenix (Advertising), University of California Irvine (Theater), Snow College (Early Childhood Education)
Location
Arizona
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Entertainment, Faith




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