Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and amid all the dinner planning and visiting relatives, we should remember to be thankful. And we should think about how we can help the less fortunate.
We should all be helping those in need all year round, of course, but during the holidays it's extra appreciated. Here's how you can help a few people who are extra in need - not only poverty stricken or hungry, but suffering with HIV or AIDS.
Every year the Poverello Center puts together a "Turkey Hunt" fundraiser that provides Thanksgiving diners with all the trimmings to families living with HIV/AIDS. These are the same families that the center helps support all year via funds raised through their thrift stores.
"We service somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000 families a month. These clients go through our normal intake," says Jim O'Hay, Fundraising Director for Poverello Center. "[The Turkey Hunt] program is not funded by any federal money. It comes from us and people like yourselves and local mom and pops."
A donation of just $14.57 will provide a full Thanksgiving dinner -- a 10 pound turkey with all the trimmings and traditional side items you'd expect -- for a family of four to six people. $29.14 will provide two turkey dinners and $43.71 will provide three dinners.
"The most important thing that I get asked every year is 'Why can't I just buy a turkey?' but you know how expensive it can get once you start buying every thing for a dinner," says O'Hay. "But because of the amount of food that we buy, we are able to get a a good deal with all the fixings for a family."
O'Hay says that there are three easy ways to donate, so you can help others in need and then get right back to your own decadent holiday preparations. You can make a donation with your credit card by visiting Poverello.org
or calling 954-561-3663. You can also make a donation with a check made payable to The Poverello Center Inc. which you can then mail or hand-deliver while visiting the center's thrift store at 2056 N. Dixie Highway in Wilton Manors
And as for helping others the rest of the year, the center's 10,000-square-foot thrift store is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Make a donation of clothes or money, or just shop.