Pacific Garden Mission Serving Event – 11/24 & 11/25/20

The following article was sent in by Christina Chacon, Board Member – Food For Friends and Karen Vargas, long-time volunteer with Food For Friends. For more pictures from this event, go to our album on Facebook titled 2020-11-25 Pacific Garden Mission 

The Thanksgiving serving event at Pacific Garden has always been a special serving event in the hearts of those of us associated with Food For Friends. For 20+ years serving a Thanksgiving Eve meal at the Pacific Garden Mission in Chicago, IL has been a family tradition for many.

Typically, this event brings in 100 volunteers to serve 700+ meals to men, women and children.  Our volunteers look forward to this event every year. Unfortunately, this year, like many other things, we were unable to serve at the Pacific Garden Mission.  

However, Food For Friends was determined to continue our tradition of serving at Pacific Garden Mission, especially since we know the clients at Pacific Garden Mission are provided daily meals. With that in mind, we worked hard to find a solution. And that we did.

Through a tremendous effort by 20 volunteers and the help of Lee n Eddies, we delivered 500 Thanksgiving meals to Pacific Garden Mission at 4pm on Wednesday, November 25, 2020   It was a well organized and choreographed serving event that not only followed all CDC guidelines, but spanned multiple days at Lee ‘n Eddies facility.  

On Tuesday, Nov. 24, ten volunteers arrived in the afternoon at Lee ‘ n Eddies to pack a box of items that contained a dinner roll, cookie, margarine, cranberry sauce, mints, wipes, plastic utensils, napkin and a business card with a bible verse.  The volunteers were energetic and happy to be part of this event.  We packed 500 boxes in less than 2 hours.  

On Wednesday, Nov. 25, another ten volunteers arrived at 11am at Lee’n Eddies to pack 500 containers with a hot meal for a 4pm delivery. With our lovely and enthusiastic volunteers, we were able to pack 500 hot meals in about 3 hours. The meal included turkey, corn, pasta, and mashed potatoes with some delicious gravy.

This Pacific Garden Mission serving experience was very different as we did not have the opportunity to see the smiling faces of the clients receiving the Thanksgiving meal.  That is something we all look forward to every year. However, we are happy knowing that the clients at Pacific Garden Mission will enjoy a Thanksgiving Eve meal packed with lots of love by 20 wonderful volunteers.    

Special thank you to Dan Veles, owner of Lee ‘n Eddies for his long-time partnership, but most of all his efforts in making this serving event possible.  

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone,

Christina Chacon and Karen Vargas, Food For Friends Volunteers,