COVID has hit everyone in some manner this year, some harder than others. This year has seen the highest unemployment rate in modern history, a global pandemic that has taken 1.34 million lives world-wide, with 252,000 of those here in the United States thus far. Now here we are, in the midst of the coveted holiday season with uncertainty ahead of us… How do we maneuver through these difficult times during hardship?
Every year good people rise to the occasion, and in 2020 the best of us has answered the call again. The La Casa Garcia Restaurant in Anaheim and the We Give Thanks Foundation is here to help normalize a part of our lives for those in need this Thanksgiving with the giving of a free prepacked Thanksgiving meal.
We Give Thanks Thanksgiving Day event started preparations early this year for their 34th annual affair with volunteers from the Anaheim Ducks organization and Wells Fargo.
This event provides Thanksgiving meals and groceries to Orange County residents. Because of COVID, the annual buffet has been changed to a drive-through with Second Harvest helping.
This year We Give Thanks estimates it will take three days to pre-package all of the meal boxes since they expect around 7,000 cars at the meal distribution area taking place at the Honda Center the morning of Thanksgiving, November 26. The annual Thanksgiving event provides ready-to-eat turkey meals and groceries (including pie for dessert!) to Orange County residents with no ID’s to show, no paperwork to fill out, no questions asked!
What: 34th annual We Give Thanks Thanksgiving Day event When: Thursday, Nov. 26, 9 a.m. to noon Where: Honda Center, 2695 East Katella Ave., Anaheim, CA 92806 (Distribution is off Douglass Road; follow directional signs) Cost: Free Info: wegivethanksinc.org
The We Give Thanks website has this to say about their annual event on their site:
“For over 30 years, We Give Thanks has been helping those in need in the greater Orange County and Los Angeles areas. Frank Garcia, founder of We Give Thanks, felt blessed that his family had food and shelter but he knew that many families lacked his good fortune.“
Believing Thanksgiving is a special day to give thanks for God’s gifts, Garcia decided to serve a free Thanksgiving Day dinner to families in need in the parking lot of his family- owned restaurant, La Casa Garcia. Each year the number of persons increased and soon surpassed 15,000.
There is one change this year, the location changed from the parking lot of La Casa Garcia to Honda Center, the purpose of the dinner has remained the same: “To serve a free Thanksgiving dinner to individuals and families in need. We Give Thanks has expanded its role of the years and provides support for other events throughout the year including support of the Veterans, local youth, and families in need.”
If you can’t make it to the Honda Center on Thanksgiving morning or are looking for help for yourself or a loved one on other days like today, there are many places available for those in need. Before COVID-19 there were about 70 food banks in SoCal, today there are 388… so to those in need, you are NOT alone!
Did you know you can dial 211 from any phone and a trained and informed operator can tell you where the closest shelter or food bank is to you according to your zip code? Thanks Governor Newsom for that access to easy and needed help for so many!
In addition to all the things going on this year, we should find time to take a moment and thank the people who make a difference in our lives. In he end, that’s what truly matters.
It’s a scary time we’re living in. Despite all the challenges, PLEASE, don’t let pride or fear stand in the way of getting help!
That being said, please find listed below a few links where you can get judgment-free assistance any day of the week.
If you need help, or know someone that does, let them know about these services.