https://www.glwd.org/blog/giving-thanks-this-holiday-season/

12.5.19 / Volunteer

Giving Thanks this Holiday Season

The holidays are a favorite time of year, and we take them seriously (and joyfully!) at God’s Love We Deliver. We begin planning for Thanksgiving and the Winter Feast in August, and immediately after our first planning meeting, it’s full steam ahead! This Thanksgiving, God’s Love cooked and delivered a record number of meals and worked with a record number of volunteers. We are so thankful to everyone who worked to make the holidays special for our clients.

Across the NYC metro area, 1,700 volunteers worked to send meals from 13 meal distribution centers. We delivered 8,400 traditional turkey feasts, vegetarian meals, and modified Thanksgiving meals to 4,000 homes. Volunteers packed the meals in festive bags decorated by hundreds of NYC school kids and home delivered the meals to our clients. The bags, drawn and painted with cheery messages and holiday-themed pictures, are another way that we demonstrated to our clients how much love and warmth we cook into these restorative and delicious meals.

Our kitchen prepared the God’s Love Thanksgiving classics: pumpkin bisque, roasted turkey breast with cornbread stuffing, gravy and cranberry sauce. As sides, we sent sweet potato mash, parsnips, Brussels sprouts, carrots, and pearl onions. Of course, the meal wouldn’t be complete without an apple crisp baked by Chuck the Baker to round it off. We sent every single client an extra meal for a guest or a loved one, so that none of our clients had to spent the holidays alone.

In addition to the Thanksgiving feast, our volunteers delivered every household a God’s Love tote bag filled with nonperishable snacks and personal and dental care products. In previous years, we’ve sent baskets, but this year, we were thrilled to send our clients a reusable God’s Love canvas bag. These bags were filled to the brim thanks to generous donations from The Krumholz Foundation; the Binn Family Foundation in loving memory of Penny Binn Binstock; Stewart Lantner, DDS & Joseph Goldberg, DDS; and AXA. Additionally, this year, the Lutheran Church of the Resurrection of Garden City, NY collected hundreds of bars of soap and tissue packs, and Colgate-Palmolive donated thousands of toothbrushes, toothpastes, and bars of soap. We know our clients had big (clean!) smiles this Thanskgiving.

Also, God’s Love once again delivered a special holiday meal to unaccompanied minors who have been separated from their parents and are being temporarily housed in New York. Last year’s meal of treats that “taste like home” was such a hit with the kids that we were asked to do it again. Chef Daniel oversaw the pupusas de chicharron which is a traditional Guatemalan/El Salvadorian pork stuffed-masa cake, served with curtido which is a Salvadorian cabbage slaw. Chef Daniel also oversaw the pepián de pollo, a traditional Guatemalan chicken stew, which accompanied Chef Curtis’s arroz y frijoles. The children also received Chef Vincente’s deliciously sweet tres leches cake and a bonus traditional Guatemalan sesame cookie which Baker Jose baked. God’s Love is proud to have brought a little bit of home– and a lot of love– to these children during the holiday season.

As soon as our chefs woke up from a quick post-Thanksgiving nap, preparations for the Winter Feast ramped up! We required the help of just as many volunteers to prepare this special meal as the one that we sent in the end of November. The Winter Feast began with a smooth delicious corn chowder, and continued with braised beef with cherries; salmon with caper relish, or a winter vegetable casserole, depending on the client’s dietary preference and requirements. We sent our famous holiday cookies to rounded off this delightful meal. And, for a special touch, every client recieved a God’s Love-branded water bottle, every child received a gift, and Sabra donated 4,000 containers of hummus, for each household to enjoy. As the temperatures drop, we were proud to be able to home-deliver warmth, love and health to our clients. With the hold of our volunteers, supporters and staff, we made sure that the holidays were festive for seriously ill New Yorkers.