By Max Bowen-Max.email@example.com
When Sarah Rizzo began a collection to provide Thanksgiving meals for those in need, she hoped to bring in enough for eight families.
But the generosity of her fellow Cliffs residents exceeded that goal three times over, and when all was said and done, 27 complete meals were dropped off at Lenore’s Pantry.
Rizzo said that for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the neighborhood organized a food drive, and she wanted to do another for the November holiday. She put out a call on Facebook and created a sign-up sheet so people could choose specific items to donate. Monetary donations were also sought for gift cards. She posted every couple of days to keep the collection fresh in people’s minds, but didn’t expect a tremendous response.
“I was amazed, because I didn’t think we’d meet the eight (baskets),” said Rizzo. “It was slow at first to come in. Eight seemed a bold goal. It was hard to judge since this was the first time.”
As time passed the collection of donations increased, and soon went well beyond what was anticipated. Each basket contains a turkey roasting pan, stuffing, two boxes of mashed potato mix, two containers of gravy, a can of cranberry sauce, a box of macaroni and cheese, four canned vegetables, a dessert mix and two chocolate bars donated from Amor Cocoa, a chocolatier in the area. In addition, the baskets have two gift cards for turkey or others items. The original request was for $160 to cover the cards, but Rizzo said $390 came in.
Rizzo said that 35 people signed up to volunteer items, help during collection and transport baskets to Town Hall. Because the collection station was set up on the street, people walked by and asked what was happening. Other neighbors donated goods because of that.
“We have a good community through the magazine and Facebook group,” said Rizzo. “I think we’ll continue to do this every year and more things as well.”