Poverello House opening its doors to more than 300 families this Thanksgiving

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Close to 100 volunteers spent the holiday giving back as a way to give thanks. From dicing vegetables to manning the grill volunteers kicked off their Thanksgiving at the Poverello House.

Lynda Thomsen donated her time and talents but not in the kitchen.

"This is just a way I can give back to a community that gives me so much."

For nearly two decades Thomsen has brought her design and decor expertise to the table. Providing a warm Thanksgiving welcome to those in need.

"Thanksgiving is a time for us to know our blessings and give thanks and just remember that all of us are in this together."

In the spirit of the holiday volunteers at the Poverello House started Thanksgiving preps as early as 4:30 in the morning.

Executive Director Cruz Avila said they are seeing an increasing number of families in need-- especially around the holidays. He expects to serve close to three thousand meals over breakfast lunch and dinner.

"The Thanksgiving meal is a big turn out with the blessings and the community support that we get with those turkey donations for this Thanksgiving meal today."

The Poverello House set a goal of 2,500 turkeys, but this year they fell short.

"Even though we'll get to about a thousand by the end of today the goal is still to get to 2,500," said Avila.

Not only are the turkeys served throughout the year, they help assist other agencies.

"We work with Majoree Mason Center, Catholic Charities, Spirit of Women, CAP," said Avila.

This time of year they not only see an influx of people in need they get a boost in volunteers. Something many said is an eye-opening experience that brings a new perspective to helping those in need.

"You want folks to understand where every cent to every dollar goes to and you can't do that without getting educated on the cause that you want to help out with," said Avila.
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