Homeless volunteers spread Thanksgiving holiday cheer in the Bronx
Volunteers at the Aisling Irish Community Center in Yonkers prepare meals for the homeless on Monday.
Mike McMahon, shop steward in Local 3, is the man who organizes his workmates each year to help out. It’s these grown workmen who organize the 25-30 turkeys that are used to feed the homeless.
“Each year we bring the turkeys and canned goods for the Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners,” said McMahon.
“The men I work with are wonderful. If they can’t make it here on the day to help they do so in other ways like donating something.”
McMahon’s own family supplies a lot of the turkeys and various foods for the day.
“My own family is great too. They all help out each year I don’t even need to ask. I can really count on them,” he added.
“We just all love doing it, and I personally will be doing this till I’m done.”
As more turkeys and hams arrived at the center during the day, the young kids present queued up assembly line style to have the dinners served into tin containers ready for transportation into the city.
Each container included turkey, ham and a variety of vegetables. In a separate bag there was bread, butter, cranberry sauce and Irish chocolate.
As the aroma of food wafted out the doors of the center on Monday passers-by came in to see what was going on. Some even lent a hand on the spot.
Keeping organized at the front of the center was Mike Halloran from Co. Galway. His friend Donald Breen from Co. Kerry kept the show on the road at the back. The friends have been doing this for nearly 11 years and enjoy it very much.
“We enjoy it and this year like always is a great success,” said Halloran.
Elizabeth Donnelly from the Aisling Center told the Irish Voice that the day would not have been possible without the donations from local establishments.
“Without their support we would not be able to continue this great work,” said Donnelly.
Mary-Ellen Kelly, 10, dashed over from school at 2:40 p.m. to help out.
“I heard they needed help so I’m here to help those people who don’t have what I have,” said Mary-Ellen.
While the volunteers were busy at the Aisling Center getting ready to feed the homeless, other provisions were being put in place to organize a local dinner for those in the Irish community on Thursday.
Anyone who doesn’t have somewhere to go is encouraged to attend the Irish Thanksgiving dinner at St. Barnabas High School Cafeteria from 2 p.m. onwards. There will be a full dinner, football, cards and music. To date nearly 50 people have signed up.
RSVP at 914-374-8264 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Places must be reserved before November 24.
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