(KMTR) – It's getting tougher every year for organizers to put on the free Whiteaker Thanksgiving dinner. Volunteers have come up with the funds for 1700 pounds of turkey, because a business that typically donates was not able to this year.
Beverly Farfan has been heading up the Thanksgiving event for 16 years. She uses her house to store donated items that are dropped off at Windermere real estate. Farfan says this year has been one of the tougher years, due to the economy. There are a lot more people in need, but fewer who are able to help. Businesses that she's relied on for years for donations had to tell her no this year. But through it all, she says it's worth it when you see the impact it has, year after year. “Many of the people who come maybe they're just having a hard time in life and they just need to be someplace where something is really good and they feel good helping or just being there and that's why it’s open to everybody,” says Farfan.
Giveaways at the event include items like clothing and backpacks, hats, stuffed animals, and brand new tents donated by REI. This year Farfan says there's a big need for warm jackets and rain gear in large and extra large sizes. They also need more kid’s clothes, basic toiletries, and stuffed animals for the little ones.
The dinner includes 1700 pounds of turkey, 100 loaves of bread, 200 pounds of onion, 50 pounds of celery, and 1000 pounds of potatoes and yams. Besides dinner, the event at the Whiteaker Head Start center will include music, activities for the kids, and even a massage room. They’ll also offer free flu shots.
It takes over 600 volunteers to make this event happen. There are three days where they could really use extra hands. There’s a need for volunteers after Thanksgiving as well, for cleanup. If you’re interested, the link is posted on our website. Click the “get it” button.