Reaching-Out helps local families have a happy Thanksgiving

They’re helping the less fortunate give thanks.

Reaching-Out Community Services held its annual Operation Gobbler Giving event on Monday, November 20 at which the organization gave out hundreds of turkeys and fixins’ for families in need with the help of several sponsors.

RCS Executive Director Tom Neve discussed the hardships that the organization has endured this year to provide food for families.

“This was one of the toughest years because we have many more families that are registered with us,” he said. “We had unfortunately turned down or put on a waiting list of over 300 families. We gave out 400 vouchers and then we wondered how we were going to get the turkeys. I think this is the first year I had a waiting list. The demand is great.”

However, he was grateful that several organizations came through to provide for the hundreds of families.

“We are so thankful for the Rotary Club of Verrazano that supplied almost 250 turkeys, which is three quarters of the amount of turkeys  for the people we had,” he said. “Then we had City Harvest donate another 80 turkeys. We were thankful that a lot of people in the community who sponsored us got us to this point. At least we’re helping the 400 families and hopefully we might have extras for those on the waiting list.”


The hundreds of families that received their Thanksgiving meals were thankful

“This pantry is a blessing,” one attendee said simply.

“We gave everything we could to help as many families as possible,” Neve said. “Thanksgiving for my organization is every day. We help them every day. The families are always grateful.”

The Rotary Club of Verrazano was more than happy to lend a helping hand.

“Most of the turkeys that are here are donated by members and we were happy to help out on this day,” said Michael Iacobucci, past president. “They do a fantastic job. That’s why we are here to help them.”

“Tom is a great guy and e runs a great program,” said Bill Thurston, sergeant at arms for the Rotary Club. “Everybody works really hard. But this is one of the many different charities we take on. It makes me feel warm being able to help people like this.”

“We serve others that are less fortunate than us. We try to help people that really need it and it feels good,” said Joseph Speziale, president of the Rotary Club

Kerrie-Ann Fairclough, a vocational social worker from HeartShare School, was with her students and City Harvest giving out supplies.

“Our children are diagnosed with autism but we try to integrate them into the community,” she said. “It feels great, especially seeing my children doing this service and how they are interacting with population.”

“We are here for the poor and people that don’t have,” added John Malone of Food Bank. “A lot of us were blessed that we have. We can help out and that’s why we are here.”

“We want to make sure everyone has an opportunity to enjoy their holiday season with the rest of us and that’s why we go a little further, to make sure we can be there for less fortunate and financially disadvantaged,” added Neve.

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