Thanks Giving

Personal

Yesterday I had the honor of joining my church for Thanksgiving. When I first heard of the event, the announcement was made for people to help cook turkey and sides as we worked together to feed those in need. My heart skipped a beat because I knew I wanted to be a part of this awesome event, but me and kitchen are sometimes at odds with each other. So I offered what I could: My camera.

Together with Mariners Church, both churches came together to host an event in East Los Angeles. When I arrived, I was so blown away with everything. Hundreds of volunteers came together to ensure that everyone who entered the gates of Calvary Chapel Montebello was treated with kindness, grace, and class. Thousands of people showed up to receive a free meal, food boxes, and a carnival for kids…and JD and I were lucky to document a portion of the day.

We documented many aspects of the event, but I decided to blog just a few photos of that made me particularly thankful…

Every child was given a box filled with candies and goodies…

Each family was given a box filled with everything needed to make a Thanksgiving meal at home…and then some more…

Crafts were available for kids of all ages…

Inside all the goodie boxes, toothbrushes and hygiene products were also included to make sure we weren’t contributing to cavities… 🙂

This little guy wasn’t liking me too much….

Now onto my favorite part of the day…inside a large tent were racks filled with brand new jackets. I can’t express how humbled I was as I saw hundreds of children’s faces light up as they got to choose the jacket of their choice. If I had to guess, most of the kids haven’t had the luxury of buying a brand new jacket, so to see the joy as they tried their options on was incredible…

As I recounted my experience documenting the day with my mom later after Thanksgiving dinner, I became quite choked up. I told her stories of children who squealed with delight as they hugged their jackets with pride. I cried because I was one of those kids. Twenty years ago, I was on the other end of the receiving line, and to realize how far I’ve come from that point broke me. I’m thankful for the many souls who shared with my family back then…

This mother and daughter made me so happy. She explained in spanish that she came expecting nothing, but walked away with bags of clothing, boxes of food, and her daughter thankful for the many blessings…

…I walked away more thankful than I could have ever imagined…