Thanksgiving 2017: donations needed
With just a week left until Thanksgiving, you might be salivating at the thought of turkey, mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce. As you plan your feast, several local organizations are helping those in need prepare for their own. Their doors will be open through Thanksgiving and into the holiday season to accept both food and warm winter clothes.
Here’s are some places in need of donations:
What they’re doing: As they’ve done in past years, Pastor James Ryan and the Lighthouse Mission will be seeking donations to prepare Thanksgiving boxes for families in need. “Normally, our freezers are almost full of chickens and turkeys by now,” Pastor Ryan recently posted on Facebook. “Unfortunately, we have very few.” Ryan hopes that enough donations will pour in to feed between 1,500 and 1,600 families, but they currently have approximately 650 turkeys to give away.
What they need: Frozen turkeys, pies, canned corn, canned beans, canned peas, stuffing, potatoes, butter, canned milk, any other Thanksgiving-themed foods. Though the mission primarily collects food for donations, looming colder weather means those in need will also receive donations of warm clothing, gloves and hats.
Where you can donate: Lighthouse Mission is located at 1543 Montauk Highway, Bellport. Donations are accepted Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
United Methodist Church
What they’re doing: The parish is collecting donations of nonperishable food items to stock their food pantry and assemble 15-20 Thanksgiving baskets for families in need. The church will also be serving a hot Thanksgiving lunch on Thanksgiving Day at the church from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. According to administrative assistant Camille Flynn, over 100 people were served at last year’s luncheon. “It’s open to the whole community. Anyone who doesn’t have a place to go is welcome,” she said.
What they need: Nonperishables, including canned goods. Flynn said that they would even accept fresh vegetables, like potatoes and green beans. Thanks to Island Harvest, she said, they have a sufficient amount of turkeys for their Thanksgiving baskets. “We try to stick with nonperishables so if it’s not used, it can be kept in our food pantry,” she said.
Where you can donate: The United Methodist Church is located at 10 Church Street, Patchogue. Donations are accepted Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the church.
St. Francis de Sales R.C. Church
What they’re doing: Parish volunteers will be putting together Thanksgiving baskets for families in need with all the fixings. They will begin to distribute the boxes this Sunday, but will continue accepting nonperishable donations. Last year, they accommodated over 100 families and will distribute over 175 baskets this year.
What they need: Turkeys are welcome, though director of outreach Liz Carrillo noted that due to lack of space at the Blue House, grocery store gift cards are preferred. Canned food and other nonperishable items like boxed mashed potatoes and stuffing are also welcome.
Where you can donate: The Blue House at the church is located at 224 South Ocean Avenue, Patchogue and open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 to 3 p.m.
Mary Immaculate R.C. Church
What they’re doing: The church’s outreach is run through a local chapter of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, which for the last six weeks has been collecting donations outside of local grocery stores including Cirillo’s and Stop & Shop. Over 200 volunteers then work to assemble Thanksgiving baskets complete with turkey, stuffing, gravy and all the fixings.
According to parish secretary Michelle Yalamas, this Sunday after the 9 a.m. mass, volunteers will line up in their cars and take a few baskets each to hand deliver to families in need. “People can definitely pick up their own baskets, but delivering makes it easier, since some people don’t have cars,” she said. Yalamas expects to serve approximately 130 families this year. “It’s amazing to see,” she said.
What they need: Yalamas said that aside from canned vegetables, cranberry sauce, gravy and boxes of rice and mashed potatoes, donations are also welcome to replenish the food pantry once Thanksgiving has passed. “We stock canned goods, peanut butter and jelly, macaroni and cheese, rice and pastas,” she said. “Anything that can store well.”
Where you can donate: The food pantry, located at the church at 16 Browns Lane in Bellport, is open Wednesdays from 10 to 11 a.m. and 6 to 7 p.m. and on Fridays from 10 to 11 a.m. For more information, call 631-286-3795.
• The Rev. Dwight Wolter at the Congregational Church of Patchogue is in need of cash donations. “Not everybody likes turkey, and not everyone eats meat,” he said. “We try to give them what they want.”
• Christ Episcopal Church in Bellport will host a Thanksgiving Eve mass on Wednesday, Nov. 22 at 7 p.m.
• St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Patchogue is also collecting donations. For more information, call the food pantry at 631-475-3078.
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