Thanksgiving Banquet – 550 people fed and over 200 volunteers!
At this year’s Thanksgiving Banquet, approximately 550 meals were served with love and compassion to men, women, and children in need. Turkeys, boxes of stuffing, cans of green beans and corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes, dinner rolls, pies, plates and plastic silverware, napkins and more were donated to help make the Banquet possible.
Over 200 volunteers made the Thanksgiving Banquet a tremendous success!
Thank you to everyone who made the Thanksgiving Banquet a real community event! While the Merced County Rescue Mission had the privilege of organizing the Banquet, it was all the groups and individuals who volunteered that made it happen.
The Mi Gente Motorcycle Club donated 100 turkeys and lots of canned vegetables and then came to the event and provided security. The Salvation Army supplied us with pies and rolls. D&S Farms donated sweet potatoes and Aloha Floral collected many boxes of stuffing mix. Lifeline provided their Bus Boutique to give away clothing and a group of volunteers from MCOE Educational Services and Dignity Health administered 100 free flue shots. The Merced Kiwanis Club came with over 20 high school students, representing all three Merced high schools, to wash 150 turkeys and wrap 1,000 potatoes in foil. A group of people from the Human Services Agency and UC Merced then spent the night cooking the potatoes and turkeys. Even when the oven, with a capacity to cook 100 turkeys at a time, went down at 10:30 pm, electricians came and got everything back on track – God was truly with us that night. A group from Merced College spent the night cooking and preparing stuffing at the Italio Lodge. Multiple schools in Merced held food drives which provided much needed food for this Banquet and throughout the year! Countless individuals also pitched in by donating food and their time to turn Thanksgiving Day into a memorable experience for homeless individuals, disadvantaged families and lonely senior citizens without a family with whom to share the day.
A big THANK YOU to all those who gave so much of their time, talents and treasures to help us reach the less fortunate of Merced County – it was a joy to have you with join us! May God bless you for your efforts and donations.
Merced County Rescue Mission