YMCA Volunteers Pack Thanksgiving Meals for Local Families

Last updated: January 18, 2024, at 5:22 a.m. PT

Originally published: January 18, 2024, at 5:22 a.m. PT

A collage of three photos: (1) a volunteer builds a box (2) two volunteers unpack a cart of canned goods (3) a group of Girl Scouts organize materials

At last November's Thanksgiving Meal Basket Program, a blend of volunteers, staff, and community members – including some local Girl Scouts! – eagerly stepped up to the challenge. 

The journey began with a heartfelt food drive within our branch, orchestrated to gather traditional Thanksgiving delights from our generous members and the local community. The City of Newcastle graciously allowed us to set up a collection bin at City Hall, turning it into a hub of giving. 

But it wasn't just about collecting food; it was about reaching out to those in need. Thanks to the diligent work of our staff team, an online form was crafted. This form became a bridge, connecting individuals with the option to apply for holiday assistance, whether in the form of a Thanksgiving meal or gifts for the holiday season. 

As the event unfolded, the air buzzed with the collective energy of volunteers sorting, counting, and packing meals. One hundred families in our community received a bountiful Thanksgiving feast carefully curated with love and care. 

The menu was filled with a few holiday favorites: mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, fruits and vegetables, mac & cheese, jam/jelly, and a muffin/cornbread or biscuit mix. Each family also received a frozen turkey. 

It's worth mentioning that the roots of this generous tradition run deep. Both the Thanksgiving Meal Basket Program and the Holiday Giving Tree Program, pillars of support during the holiday season, were crafted by Y staff Dani Hastings during her time as the Membership Director at Coal Creek. Thank you to Dani and our Branch Executive, Andy Sharpe, for laying the foundations that made events like these possible. 

As the event concluded, the room was filled not just with packed meals but with the spirit of community, compassion, and the joy of giving. And so, in the heart of our community, the tradition of giving continues to flourish, creating memories and spreading warmth. We are grateful for the hands that packed and the hearts that cared. 


Category: Volunteer