Thanksgiving turkeys, donations needed ahead of holiday

Plenty of volunteer opportunities this week to give back
Mike Ricker, left, and Michael Spoon of The Glory Hole take stock of food for the soup kitchen's Thanksgiving dinner meals at its storage site at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church on Tuesday.

Juneau’s downtown soup kitchen and homeless shelter is in need of frozen turkeys and trimmings for the Thanksgiving boxes it gives to those in need.

 

The Glory Hole’s executive director Mariya Lovishchuk said the shelter had just under 140 people sign up to receive the boxes this year, but they’ve only received 36 turkeys so far. Each of the Thanksgiving boxes is supposed to contain one frozen turkey.

“Every year, everything shows up at the last moment, and we really hope this year is the same,” Lovishchuk said. “That’s what we’re really hoping.”

The shelter still also needs other Thanksgiving items to include in the boxes — especially canned fruit and gravy mixes, Lovishchuk said after an inventory was taken Tuesday evening. Other still needed items include canned corn, green beans and peas, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and stuffing. Lovishchuk said “extras” are welcome too, such as whipped cream for pumpkin pies and sparkling cider or anything else that would make a good addition to a Thanksgiving table.

For pumpkin pies this year, the Glory Hole is teaming up with the Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, which is hosting a pie-a-thon Saturday to make 300 pies in one day. They make donating easy — all you have to do is go to www.trinityjuneau.org/pie.php and click “Buy and Donate the Pie to the Glory Hole.” (You can also buy a pie for yourself, or buy a “virtual pie” to donate money to the church itself.)

The Glory Hole could use a few storebought pies before the pie-a-thon since it’s beginning to distribute the boxes as early as Thursday and Friday, Lovishchuk said.

Donations can be dropped off at the Glory Hole, 247 S. Franklin St., between 7 a.m.-9 p.m. any day up until Thanksgiving Day. The shelter, though, is starting to distibute the boxes this Thursday, and will continue distributing them up until Thanksgiving. Lovishchuk said they’ve tried distributing all the boxes on one day before, and it did not work well; she’s hoping stretching out the distribution over a week’s span will be smoother.

On Thanksgiving Day, the Glory Hole is not looking for volunteers to serve food; the shelter is open but encourages its patrons to attend the community Thanksgiving dinner at the Hangar by the Wharf restaurant, hosted each year by the Salvation Army for those in need.

Any leftovers the Glory Hole receives, it gives to the Salvation Army to use in its dinner, Christmas boxes or the Glory Hole’s regular meal programs.

Salvation Army Thanksgiving dinner

“Yes and yes,” Salvation Army Lt. Lance Walters said when asked if they needed food or volunteers for their annual Thanksgiving dinner at the Wharf.

Walters said they especially are in need of storebought pies and dinner rolls. They have quite a few volunteers already signed up to help with the community dinner, but could use a few more, he added.

Those wanting to volunteer can call Lt. Walters at 723-0223.

SVPD needs canned goods, volunteers

St. Vincent de Paul General Manager Dan Austin said they are “desperately in need of canned goods.”

“We’re OK on turkeys, we’ve actually had pretty good donations of frozen turkeys, but it’s all the other makings,” he said by phone Tuesday.

He said they could really use canned corn, green beans, mashed potatoes and any other non-perishable items. All the items go into their Thanksgiving baskets, which SVDP has given out to those in need in the community for more than 20 years. Each of the baskets contain a frozen turkey, vegetables, mashed potateos, gravy mix, cranberry sauce and pie filling.

Austin said they almost always use cash to purchase some of the items, so monetary donations are welcome, too.

SVDP is also looking for voluteers to help assemble and then distribute the baskets. Volunteers can show up this Thursday evening any time after 5:30 p.m. at the Riverbend Housing Complex Community Room (located on Postal Way right behind the Mendenhall Valley post office) to help out.

For those interested in volunteering to help distribute the baskets, Austin asks that they call SVDP at 789-5535 Ext. 7. Distribution will likely start Friday and continue through Sunday.

Friday Food drive

Another good cause is happening this Friday (Nov. 18) — it’s the Southeast Alaska Food Banks’ biggest food drive of the year. Food Bank Manager Darren Adams said it’s a one-day event taking place at both Foodland IGA and Super Bear Supermarket IGA from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“We will be collecting food all day,” Adams said. He noted that the drive isn’t specifically connected to Thanksgiving but that the food bank provides food to a lot of the agencies that pass food along to clients or other programs. He also noted that the public has been frequenting the food bank in increased numbers ahead of the holidays — about 75 people showed up on Saturday, and they gave away 3,000 pounds of food.

The food bank is looking for volunteers, as well. On Friday, they’re looking for volunteers to “man the doors,” greet shoppers and let them know about the food drive as they enter the grocery stores. Volunteers are also needed to help weigh the food after the drive is over, and help load it into milk crates. The food will be bused over to the food bank that evening.

Then, on Saturday, the food bank is asking the community to help offload the food from the buses into the food bank. Adams said it will likely be about 10 tons of food.

“In the past, I’ve had 40 to 50 to 100 people show up” to help with the offloading, he said. He said the job can take an hour or two but three’s probably the max.

“Any and all ages, abilities and anyone who wants to help, we could always use help,” Adams said.

Volunteers can show up at the food bank Saturday at noon to help offload the buses, or call Adams at 209-7801 for more information. The food bank is located at 10020 Crazy Horse Drive near Don Abel Building Supply.

Other holiday happenings

• City Center Chiropractic is collecting non-perishable food items this week, to donate to the Glory Hole for Thanksgiving. The address 800 Glacier Ave., near the downtown fire station and federal building.

• The Salvation Army in Juneau is now accepting applications for its Childrens’ Christmas Gift Assistance program through Nov. 22, and for its Christmas food boxes, received through Dec. 20. Applications can be picked up during regular social service office hours, 9-11:30 a.m. Tuesday and 4-6:30 p.m. Thursday, at the Salvation Army Office, 439 W. Willoughby Ave. Right afer Thanksgiving, the Salvation Army also begins its signature red kettle campaign. Call the Juneau office for more volunteer information.

• Samaritan’s Purse International Relief is seeking donations for “Operation Christmas Child,” which fills empty shoeboxes with gifts for children living in poverty overseas. The donation drive began Monday of this week and concludes Monday, Nov. 21. Donations can be dropped off at Chapel by the Lake. See the website www.samaritanspurse.org/operation-christmas-child for details. The website also has a suggested donated item list, such as toys, school supplies and hygiene items.

• AWARE (Aiding Women in Abuse and Rape Emergencies) has a shelter wish list online at http://awareak.org/how-to-help/shelter-wish-list/. Specifically for the holidays, the organization is requesting new, unwrapped toys for children of all ages, wrapping paper and bags, and craft supplies (beads, ribbon, glitter, fabric scraps, molding clay, etc.) Please call AWARE at 586-6623 before bringing by donations to let them know you’re coming by.

Editor's Note: Do you have an event or cause you'd like added to this list? Please email editor@juneauempire.com.

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