Thanksgiving giveaway at San Jose’s Sacred Heart Community Service

Sacred Heart Community Service volunteers on Wednesday finished giving Thanksgiving dinners away to approximately 4,000 families at the organization’s 57th annual holiday event in downtown San Jose.

Residents who showed up with a valid photo ID and Sacred Heart Community Service membership card collected boxes full of fresh ingredients, canned beans and corn and their choice of turkey, ham or chicken among other groceries.

Employee Leticia Alvarez, right, rebuilds groceries while working at the Sacred Heart Community Service’s annual holiday food distribution event in San Jose on Wednesday, November 24, 2021. About 4,000 families received groceries and holiday meal packages during Thanksgiving week. (Aric Crabb / Bay Area News Group)

The organization also provided lunch boxes to members who could not come to the town hall for the holiday distribution program, which started on Monday. Its goal for this effort is to give away 7,700 turkeys, hams or chickens and 70,000 cans of beans and corn in total between this event and another closer to Christmas.

While the Sacred Heart Community Service’s annual program has included a toy ride in the past, the group aims to raise $ 330,000 by Dec. 23 to fund a pandemic-safe gift bag spread. The money will be used to provide each bag with handwritten holiday greetings, sock bags and a gift card so parents can buy Christmas presents for children.

Employee Leticia Alvarez, left, distributes groceries during the Sacred Heart Community Services annual holiday food distribution event on Wednesday, November 24, 2021 in San Jose. (Aric Crabb / Bay Area News Group)

The organization was started in 1964 by Willow Glen resident Louise Benson, a woman determined to feed and clothe neighbors in need, who came to her door until 1983. Complaining neighbors drove the so-called Mother Teresa of San Jose to carry out her mission from a new home in the center of a building that once housed a school until she died in 1986. Read more about the organization and learn how to donate here.

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