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Thanksgiving Dinner 2017 by the Numbers – St. Monica Catholic Community, Santa Monica, CA

December 7, 2017

Our holidays at St. Monica Catholic Community began Wednesday, Nov. 22, with the 38th Annual Thanksgiving Dinner. Once again, every corner of the parish, every grade level in our schools, every ministry, and many loving parishioners provided time, resources, donations and food toward a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner served in our parish auditorium. Here are some numbers:

We served approximately 805 people that came to the main entrance and approximately 40 of our elderly and medically fragile guests were assisted
through a different entry. Another 80 Thanksgiving baskets with meals were delivered to homes. Our first guests were already in line by 5 a.m. and tickets for a place in line were distributed to about 250 people at 8 a.m. As it was an unseasonably warm day we made sure to keep our guests
hydrated with cups of water as they stood in line. A favorite, Sr. Catherine Ryan, came out of retirement to welcome all those standing in line as she has done for many years.

To feed this crowd we had 121 cooked turkeys, over 200 pumpkin pies, and about 30 gallons of gravy. We not only reached our goals of having at least 1300 servings of all food and trimmings (green beans, cranberry sauce, rolls and gravy) but exceeded them as well. We thank the students and families from both of our schools for donating most of the juice boxes and nonperishable food items. Our earliest cooked turkeys arrived at 5:30 a.m. (Many parishioners obviously stayed up during the night cooking them. Bless you!) and carvers were soon on hand to prepare the trays of meat for dinner later. A whopping 50 cooked turkeys were delivered! By 10 a.m. all our kitchens were busily preparing the trays of mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans and cranberry sauce. We are grateful to all our kitchen volunteers for their hard work an perseverance. Preparing over 1000 servings of anything is a daunting task.

Starting Sunday, the transformation of the Grand Pavilion into a Clothing Boutique began first with the strong backs and ingenuity of our Young Ministering Adults volunteers. YMA was joined Monday and Tuesday by high school students, conformation students, and the RCIA in first
sorting through and then folding thousands of pieces of clothing. We received 450 bags of completed toiletries before the dinner—the largest amount ever—and high school students helped us complete another 250 bags of toiletries.

Of course, this event could not happen without our volunteers! We are still checking the numbers but approximately 1000 volunteers helped make the day possible! 518 volunteers were assigned to the Boutique alone and another 500 served in all other areas.

Blessings to all who came, all who served and all who donated!

For more information contact Delis Alejandro, St Monica Pastoral Associate:

By: Delis G. Alejandro, Pastoral Associate, St. Monica Catholic  Community, Saint Monica, CA

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