Thanksgiving looks different for everyone in 2020, and the ABCD North End/West End Neighborhood Service Center (NE/WE NSC) is no exception! The center missed having its annual turkey feast with all the trimmings, including visits from elected officials wanting to visit with and give gifts to their constituents. However, it still strove to provide a special holiday experience for all who knocked on its doors for Thanksgiving meal staples or other assistance.
This year, staff from City Councilor Lydia Edwards’ office donated some much-needed gift cards for the purchase of turkeys and other holiday staples and necessities. Additionally, the center gratefully acknowledges compassionate annual donations from Steven Colarusso of Antonio’s Cucina Italiana in the West End; Al and Maryann Giorgio of La Famiglia Giorgio’s; and the team at Church on the Hill, including President Paul Logiudice, Vice President Janet Forbes, Reverend Kevin Baxter, and Mary Guarino, for turkey donations, which made North End and West End turkey distributions possible. Robin Sidell of North Street Grille organized a drive to sell blankets and generously gave the proceeds to purchase holiday gift cards. The Third Secular Franciscan Order generously donated $250 to support the West End Food Pantry.
The NE/WE NSC was the grateful recipient of 36 heavy Thanksgiving boxes from the Star Market the Hub on Causeway. The dinners were complete with turkeys, potatoes, stuffing, cranberry, and gravy, which the center gave to residents of the Ausonia Apartments and Casa Maria Apartments of the North End.
Melissa Persechini-Soares, Senior Project Coordinator, of Sandborn Head & Associates and her team created festive Thanksgiving totes filled with typical holiday sides. Last but not least, the Beacon Hill Civic Association (BHCA), Boston Barber & Tattoo Company, and Strada 234 and West End Place organized food drives to stock the center’s food pantry shelves.
Thanks to all mentioned and many more, no one who came to the center’s doors went without a bountiful feast for Thanksgiving! It was the NE/WE NSC’s goal to give each senior or family in need a gift card or turkey, and thanks to its charitable supporters, it could.
The need for turkeys and holiday help is ever increasing as the pandemic continues into the end of this year and the start of the next, and many older adults and families facing isolation and financial insecurity. Winter has settled in abruptly with snow even in October this year, and real-feel temperatures in the twenties and thirties, so more than ever, the center remains especially appreciative to elected officials, businesses, and donors for their support. Without them, none of this would have been possible.
Those who are interested to receive assistance for the upcoming December holidays may contact the NE/WE NSC at 617-523-8125. New clients must sign up for a free ABCD membership. Happy Thanksgiving to all!