SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) - Father Joe’s Villages served up an early Thanksgiving dinner Wednesday to hundreds of San Diegans in need.
“There is a lot of love in the house,” said volunteer Suzette Howe.
Deacon Jim Vargas says more than a thousand meals were served for the pre-Thanksgiving meal sand being served are families. “This is an opportunity to normalize in what is a not normal situation for these families, especially the children.”
This is Ada Parra’s fourth year at Father Joe’s, News 8 has visited with him and his son Charlie in the past. Parra is overcome with emotion as he continues to find hope. “Knowing that you have someone that backs you, is something I am grateful for,” said Parra.
After dinner, children could make their own dessert, do crafts, get their face painted. There were dozens of volunteers who helped prepare and serve the Thanksgiving feast.
“As long as you leave that good seed of hope to me that is worth the drive to help,” said Randy Gonzales.
UFC Fighter Danny “The Gremlin” Martinez returns for the fourth year and donated all the ingredients for the Thanksgiving meal. “It's been a long journey and some of these families coming around and they still give a hand and that is what this community is about,” said Martinez.
There were 700 pounds of turkeys, 300 pounds of potatoes, 120 pies and 300 pounds of green beans, “My mom made the best turkey and dressing in the world so I always think about my mom,” said Louise Horace.
No matter the challenges, Father Joe’s Thanksgiving is bringing family together.
“To share the love and hope and joy in togetherness and unity and that no matter what is going on we are going to rise, we are going to be OK,” said Horace.
Deacon Vargas says they served over a million meals last year. A $14 donation will help pay for meals for one person for two weeks. On Thursday, Father Joe's Villages is having the annual 5K Turkey Trot.