I am so filled with gratitude. A couple of weeks ago I had a small idea.. I wanted to work with my friends, family, and neighbors to create a communal Thanksgiving meal for people who were unable to cook their own Thanksgiving dinner this year due to damage from Sandy (or for any other reason). But I didn’t want the typical do-gooders on one side, victims on the other, type of set-up. I don’t believe in charity and I think we all have things to offer and things to gain from each other, so I wanted to create an environment where it was simply a large ‘family’ dinner open to all.
This was my first attempt at feeding hundreds of people (for free), and although there are many things I would do differently next time, I think it was a pretty successful first venture. Once we got a kick ass organizing committee together, we were on our way, and pretty quickly shocked by the sheer number and enthusiasm of people who wanted to help;
From St. Mark’s Church who offered a home and a support team for this project…to the Transit Workers Union, Kitchenette Restaurant in Harlem, and the Stone Barns Center for their generous turkey donations… to the International Culinary Center who helped us cook our donated turkeys… to the McCormick spice company who donated all of our gravy… to Neri’s Bakery who donated hundreds of rolls and pastries… to the YWCA of Brooklyn who donated a truck full of food made with love….to local politicians including Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and his generous staff, and City Councilwoman Debi Rose, who spread the word and offered their resources to help us….to Alicia, DJ Susan Z Anthony, and the good folks at The Suffolk who held 3 nights of Fundraisers for us and made the time to join us on Thanksgiving Day to offer their hands-on assistance…. to Occupy Sandy who promoted our mission and supported our vision…. to Fresh Direct who gifted us with a credit to purchase some much needed groceries… to P.S. 24 who created unforgettable handmade turkey table toppers and donated dozens of pies and cakes through their PTA drive….to the press, documentary filmmakers, and independent journalists who gave us air time and space in their columns….and to countless volunteers, home cooks, food transporters, and supporters who donated their time, energy, money, and love…. It was an overwhelming outpouring. The kind that makes you rethink things and reconsider what’s possible.
I think I can speak for the entire organizing committee for Thanksgiving at St. Mark’s when I say… This was an experience we will never forget. Thank You to all who made it possible.