Thanksgiving is a time for family gatherings, sharing in the warmth of each other, good cheer, and the product of hours of preparation of a turkey dinner and all the accompanying fare. Unfortunately there are humans less fortunate then us and without any intervention, would spend this day like all the others of their lives in poverty, and some cases without food.
Because of this, it has been a MCAVHN tradition each year of doing a Thanksgiving dinner for the least fortunate of us. In late October, the staff asked that we do this again and was unanimously agreed. With financial aid and actual donations of food, ingredients for a turkey dinner were procured: turkeys, butter, Crispy Onions, Mini-Marshmallows; cans of: Yams, Cream of Mushroom, French cut green beans, Chicken broth, Cranberry sauce, all gathered in preparation for the day of food preparation.
On Tuesday, two days before Thanksgiving, 15 turkeys were doled out to various staff and board members to be baked for Wednesday’s meal preparations. Tuesday evening until early Wednesday morning, some staff members started cooking and preparing foods of traditional Thanksgiving fare. Wednesday morning, they were joined by staff, volunteers, and board members, forming assembly lines to put the meals together so they could be delivered at lunchtime. Portions of turkey, scoops of stuffing, mashed potatoes with gravy, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, a slice of pumpkin pie, and a scoop of fruit desert were portioned into to-go containers, then placed in delivery bags with a dinner roll, plastic ware, and a small bottle of water.
Thanksgiving dinners were delivered to various organizations in need, including:
- Willow Terrace: Provides Housing and Services for Individuals with Severe Mental Health Challenges
- MCHC (Mendocino Community Health Center): Provide medical, dental, behavioral care in Mendocino & Lake Counties.
- OAK House: Housing for Behavioral Health clients
- Live Oak Apartments: Housing for Behavioral Health clients
- Room Key: Housing at various motels for clients susceptible to COVID-19
- Homeless Encampments
- Homeless and street people when found.
- Drop-ins at 148 Clara
A big thank you goes to all the volunteers, MCAVHN Board Members, and the Amazing Staff that pulled together to make our annual Thanksgiving Meal a very welcome success. We distributed over 320 home cooked meals throughout our community to the individuals we serve and those that didn’t know someone does care about them. A little caring goes a long way to destigmatize those less fortunate. It’s a part of MCAVHN that we hold dear in our hearts and love to do.
MCAVHN Care and Prevention Network, “Much more than a syringe exchange”. -Mike Mendez
Many thanks go to the donations made by Local Merchants, other organizations, and private citizens for their generous contributions – without them this could not have happened.
MCAVHN again will have a Christmas Party on December 20th, for the children of our clients and others. Food will be provided with Santa there to handout presents. If you wish to participate, send your contributions to 148 Clara Ave., Ukiah, CA. 95482.
Don Popowski, Board Member