We have all seen the images in a commercial or print ad of a large family gathered around the dining room table for a warm, heartfelt Thanksgiving Dinner with all the trimmings. Usually there’s a cheery fire in a big fireplace, and everybody is enjoying themselves — even the dog looks happy!
Unfortunately, for many Clevelanders, this is far from the reality of Thanksgiving Day. In fact, theirs is quite the opposite. They’re homebound, elderly, poverty-stricken, or ill, without the means or the resources to enjoy a hot Thanksgiving Day Dinner.
This is where Sister Corita and the good people of St. Augustine Church and their many volunteers come to the rescue. Every year, they receive public, private, and government food donations in order to serve over 10,000 meals on Thanksgiving. In addition, hundreds of good-hearted Clevelanders donate their time and energy to prepare, package, serve, deliver and clean up this massive undertaking.
From a foodie standpoint, anybody who receives these meals will not be disappointed. Fresh turkey with gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes, vegetables, cranberry sauce, salad, a roll and a piece of pie provide a nutritional, traditional meal.
Beyond the food is the ability to give back and make an impact on the lives of the less fortunate. Since most of us have time in the morning on Thanksgiving, it’s an ideal opportunity to gather with our families to volunteer. I can personally attest that not many things in Northeast Ohio will bring you more joy than delivering a hot meal to a disenfranchised family, and seeing the looks of gratitude on their faces. I’ve been lucky to participate in this effort for over eight years, and it always puts life in perspective, making me realize how fortunate I am.
So this holiday season, I would highly recommend that you spend a couple of hours on Thanksgiving and/or Christmas morning donating your time to help people in need. If you would like to volunteer, stop by St. Augustine or call the number below.
St. Augustine Church
2468 West 14th St., Cleveland