Bringing thanksgiving to others

November 26, 2009 6:48:08 PM PST
Hundreds of South Valley families and elderly and disabled individuals were treated to a thanksgiving meal; some of them never had to leave home.The food assembly line inside the Lemoore senior center is like a well-oiled machine, 120 volunteers, each with a specific job.

Before the day is over 700 pounds of turkey will be consumed, 600 pounds of ham will be sliced, 20 pounds each of onion and celery chopped, and 2000 pats of butter spread.

Walter, Trish and Sharon Kendall began the Lemoore tradition nine years ago. Sharon had been driving to Fresno to volunteer at the Poverello house, but that year she had a different plan

Sharon Kendall, organizer said: "So about 3 to 4 weeks before thanksgiving I called up my mom and dad and said, 'Hey do you think we could put on a thanksgiving dinner in Lemoore?'"

Trish Kendall, organizer said: "Mom said, "what???? We've only got a few weeks until thanksgiving." and she said, "oh we can do it. I said, fine, we'll do it."

So the Kendall's collected food donations from all over Lemoore, and they fed 200 people.

Over the years the dinner has grown, not only do the Kendall's serve at the senior center, but they package dinner for takeout, and they deliver

Mary Sandoval just had eye surgery and can't drive, It's the first year she's had to stay home on thanksgiving..

Mary Sandoval, homebound said: "A lot of people don't have anywhere to go or have anything to buy for thanksgiving and this has helped in the past years that they started."

The Kendall's spirit of volunteerism is contagious, Lynne Nelson and her family had thanksgiving dinner last Sunday so that three generations of nelsons could volunteer. Even 7-year old grandson Ethan came to help out

Ethan Teale, volunteer said" "You like helping out? Yes. And eating? Yes!"

From 200 meals to 2000, but the Kendall family has been serving more than food these past nine years. They've been showing families what it means to give.


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