Pittsburghers have been donating food and cash since October to help Urban Impact, Light of Life, and Circle of Hope ministries distribute unprepared food items to 170 local needy families and their effort culminated a busy volunteer effort Monday. Laundry baskets overflowing with turkey, stuffing, pies, mashed potatoes and canned goods were put together and distributed by volunteers who aim to feed those who would otherwise not be fortunate enough to feast on a Thanksgiving dinner this year.
“We have been just amazed at the way people have been giving,” said Kate Wadsworth, Public Relations Coordinator at Light of Life Rescue Mission. “It’s great to be able to do an outreach like this.”
Wadsworth said the effort is a good way for Light of Life to get into the community and inform them of additional services they may need, such as recovery, education, and employment.
Wadsworth said she was a volunteer for the Thanksgiving basket distribution last year and had the privilege to inform families they would be receiving a basket.
“It was just incredible to hear how moved they were that people would be thoughtful and generous enough to bring a meal for them to prepare in their own home,” Wadsworth said. “Something that wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for things like this.”
Wadsworth said the families getting thanksgiving dinners are from the Light of Life women and children’s program, Circle of Hope outreach ministries, and Urban Impact. Connie Devore, program manager with Urban Impact, said she has met the families, and explains their reaction upon finding out they have been selected to get a dinner.
“Often speechless, and often in tears,” Devore said. “A number of parents have shared that they wouldn’t have had thanksgiving dinner without the baskets of food coming.”
The baskets are intended to feed a family of four, but families will be receiving two baskets if the family has more than that. Devore said because of the large amount of contributions, every family that was recommended to receive baskets from Urban Impact will get one.