THE MEAN­ING OF THANKS­GIV­ING

Com­mu­nity helps make hol­i­day spe­cial for less for­tu­nate fam­i­lies

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Fran Maye fmaye@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @ken­nettpa­per on Twit­ter

“This is very mean­ing­ful to our fam­i­lies and I want to thank the com­mu­nity be­cause we couldn’t do this with­out them.” — Me­lanie Weiler, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Ken­nett Area Com­mu­nity Ser­vices

Thanks­giv­ing will be much brighter for about 550 fam­i­lies liv­ing be­low the poverty line in south­ern Ch­ester County.

On Satur­day morn­ing, about 20 vol­un­teers helped to hand out tur­keys to the fam­i­lies in front of the Ken­nett Area Food Cupboard, who were iden­ti­fied by county agen­cies in­clud­ing La Co­mu­nidad His­pana, Tick Tock Early Learn­ing Cen­ter and the Ken­nett Se­nior Cen­ter as liv­ing in poverty. Some of the tur­keys were home-de­liv­ered by vol­un­teers be­cause they have no means of trans­porta­tion. The tur­keys were do­nated by an anony­mous bene­fac­tor.

“This is very mean­ing­ful to our fam­i­lies and I want to thank the com­mu­nity be­cause we couldn’t do this with­out them,” said Me­lanie Weiler, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Ken­nett Area Com­mu­nity Ser­vices. “Thanks­giv­ing meals are es­ti­mated to cost (the fam­i­lies) about $50, so this re­ally helps the fam­i­lies.”

Most of the re­cip­i­ents are clients of the Ken­nett Area Food Cupboard. The re­cip­i­ents are fam­i­lies liv­ing in the Avon Grove, Unionville-Chadds Ford and Ken­nett Con­sol­i­dated school dis­tricts.

Jeff Smack, one of six vol­un­teers from the Honor Bound

Mo­tor­cy­cle Min­istry, said it’s im­por­tant to help those in need, es­pe­cially dur­ing the hol­i­days.

“We need to help the com­mu­nity and be a part of the so­lu­tion, not part of the prob­lem,” he said. “It’s great to see peo­ple come through, and to see their re­sponse.”

Satur­day also marked the sec­ond year that the Ken­nett Food Cupboard was one of the re­cip­i­ents of the Di­wali Food Drive. Ken­nett Area Com­mu­nity Ser­vice, home of the Ken­nett Food Cupboard, re­ceived a to­tal of 15,700 pounds of do­nated food from the drive, a much needed do­na­tion to fill the empty cupboard shelves.

The food drive hon­ors the cel­e­bra­tion of Di­wali, an an­cient Hindu “Fes­ti­val of Lights” and em­pha­sizes a strong tra­di­tion of giv­ing back to the com­mu­nity. Ten com­mu­ni­ties in Ch­ester County par­tic­i­pated in the food drive, in­clud­ing The Re­serve at Ea­gle Vil­lage, White­land Woods, and The Re­serve at Ch­est­nut Ridge.

Weiler said most of the do­na­tions to the Food Cupboard ar­rive in Novem­ber, De­cem­ber and Jan­uary.

In De­cem­ber, the Ken­nett Food Cupboard will con­tinue the Christ­mas Bas­ket Pro­gram, pro­vid­ing meals to fam­i­lies dur­ing the Christ­mas sea­son. About 600 to 700 fam­i­lies will be served by more than 200 vol­un­teers at the New Gar­den Main­te­nance Garage in Avon­dale. A hol­i­day meal will be dis­trib­uted along with coats, and toys for needy chil­dren, all do­nated from drives by lo­cal churches, ser­vice or­ga­ni­za­tions and lo­cal res­i­dents. Each fam­ily in need will re­ceive a timed ticket to re­ceive their do­na­tions.

FRAN MAYE — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Dot Sm­rke pre­pares to hand out tur­keys to needy fam­i­lies in south­ern Ch­ester County Satur­day morn­ing.

FRAN MAYE — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Jeff Smack car­ries tur­keys to be do­nated to needy fam­i­lies in south­ern Ch­ester County Satur­day morn­ing.

FRAN MAYE — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Tur­keys are dis­trib­uted to needy fam­i­lies in south­ern Ch­ester Satur­day morn­ing.

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