Thanksgiving is a time of appreciation for what we have and those we love. We often take for granted the comforts and ease of driving ourselves to the grocery store, picking out a 15-pound turkey, and driving home to our well-equipped kitchen to cook a delicious meal to enjoy with our loved ones.
For many of our neighbors experiencing homelessness, their Thanksgiving looks something like this: sitting on a street corner on Thanksgiving Day, panhandling for money for food or a motel for the night; covered in the grime of kicked up dirt from the roadway; sitting alone thinking of the estranged loved ones and friends lost along the way. The holidays are a time for celebration, but it can also be a time of sorrow for those who have fallen on hard times.
Every year, the San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission hosts a Thanksgiving banquet to serve those experiencing homelessness, low-income families, or anyone in need. On Nov. 23, we will partner with North Valley Caring Services for the third year in a row to directly serve the population whom they serve each week. This banquet is an opportunity for rest, relaxation, fun, and food for those who usually spend their days in motels or on street corners. We will provide food, music, and activities for the kids, connections to community resources, and a warm, welcoming environment. Everyone will be seated and served as honored guests. They will enjoy a delicious Thanksgiving meal of turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, and all the trimmings, followed by pumpkin pie for dessert.
Last year, many stood up and shared what they were thankful for. Most were thankful for those who were sitting around the table with them: family or friends who had become family. We are grateful for each of you who have contributed to make this meal possible. Hundreds of donations come in each year to support this banquet and we could not do this without you!
Happy Thanksgiving! We are thankful for your partnership and commitment to those in your community who are experiencing homelessness. It’s not too late to provide meals and hope this Thanksgiving.