Dozens of volunteers and several of our South Pasadena Firefighters were on hand bright and early Monday morning to hand out over 500 donated turkeys along with all the fixings to families facing hardship at Thanksgiving. This has become a long standing tradition at Holy Family Giving Bank, which gives out groceries to those in need every Monday morning and also prepares sack lunches every day.
Parish Life Director, Cambria Tortorelli, tells us “these are donations from the community of South Pasadena collected by the Boy Scouts this past Saturday and our parishioners donated hundreds of turkeys as well. So this is really a gesture from our parish community and a gesture of love and compassion from the entire South Pasadena community.” She goes on to explain “it’s one of the largest boy scout food drives in the country. They collected thousands of pounds of food from the community; they take collections in front of Vons too.” Tortorelli has been at Holy Family for nine years having come to us from Valley InterFaith Council where she was president and she is originally from Bermuda which, if you’ve ever wondered, is where her beautiful mid-Atlantic accent comes from.
Director of Community Services, Marlene Moore, gathered all the volunteers once everything was in place and each person offered up prayer to families, friends, those in need and suffering, to our first responders and military and finished with the Lord’s Prayer. Addressing the volunteers Moore said, “with the generosity of our parishioners and our community we exceeded our count of what we needed for turkeys and we exceeded last year, so go Holy Family Food Bank!”
There were parish volunteers, young people, a group of special needs folks from a local school and South Pasadena Firefighters who handed out turkeys and helped people to their cars with their heavy groceries and big turkeys! The firefighters got a call about mid-way through the proceedings but returned quickly.
Volunteers from Trader Joe’s were also on hand, donating bread and other groceries. Trader Joe’s, along with Sprouts, donates food to the Food Bank every week and sends volunteers each week as well.
After so many years, they have a very smooth system and the general mood of both those who are giving of their time and those who are on the receiving end is one of love, brotherhood, compassion and joy.
Happy Thanksgiving indeed.