Spirit of Generosity: A Happy Thanksgiving

Jazzmyn Gamble
This past November, over 100 volunteers and staff came together to assemble 600 boxes of food as part of an annual Project HOME Thanksgiving tradition.

This past November, over 100 volunteers and staff came together to assemble 600 boxes of food as part of an annual Project HOME Thanksgiving tradition.  

Volunteers were set up under a tent in the Honickman Learning Center Comcast Technology Labs parking lot and worked to fill each box with cans of veggies, stuffing, pie, and of course, a turkey. They say it’s something they look forward to every year, regardless of the weather.  

“It's important to help the community and give to people who may not have it,” said 10-year-old Max, a YPO volunteer. He and his mom, Avi, have been coming to the giveaway for years.  

“Seeing the smiles of the long line of people getting the food was just something I'll always remember and it's just so nice to know that people are benefiting from these meals,” said Avi.

For Michelle, a participant in our Adult Education Program, it was her first time coming out to the giveaway and she looked forward to preparing her holiday meal.  

“I'm really grateful. I'm grateful for the community. I'm grateful for everything that's accessible in the community. It gives us a way to make a way. And Project HOME is very helpful in doing that.”

Nyra grew up in the neighborhood and says, “It gives you a little extra when it comes to the holidays. It takes like a little load off for you.”  

Larry, a military veteran, echoed the mindset and planned to use the food to spread some holiday cheer with his loved ones. “This will give me an opportunity to do some extra stuff to be a blessing to others, that may not be as fortunate as me. Thanksgiving is a time of giving thanks. It's not all about me it's about others.”  

Volunteers and staff worked swiftly to fill all the boxes. Nyra said it was refreshing to feel the continued support from her community and appreciated everyone for making the giveaway possible. 

“It’s a blessing to have people working together to provide for their community. It’s a breath of fresh air to have such a unity base type programs and things to help the surviving families, from situations like gun violence.”  

Michael Goldman, social impact chair of YPO PA, has helped with this event for several years. He and his family look forward to lending a hand every year. “It was awesome! I love this event.” YPO PA is a group of local business leaders that aim to support communities that need it most. “A lot of different people have their own interests philanthropically. It takes help from outside organizations to help us focus all that energy on that effort.”

Priscilla “Ms. Tee” Bennett, our community engagement coordinator, and Michelle Myers kept the crowd smiling on the rainy North Philly evening. The pair worked at the front table collecting vouchers and making sure each guest left with a box. Michelle worked with Project HOME for 11 years, and even though she’s retired, she couldn’t stay away for long. 

“I just believe in the mission of Project HOME. We're helping with homelessness, resources, housing, mental illness, etc. I've had the opportunity to work in all those most of those different areas and that inspired me to continue to do it.” 

None of us are home until all of us are home®