Oh what a joy it was tonight, even though it all happened a few days after Christmas. :) Everyone was still in the Christmas Spirit and very excited for it all to unfold. :)
Our Hilde (89 years young) was in her kitchen for a couple of days to make about 30 pounds of meatloaf and a huge pot of her famous ever so smooth gravy, both of which have become a Christmas tradition now for the homeless people. This was the third year in a row she made them for everyone. :) Thank you my dearest Hilde !! :)
Faith, Bruce, and I cooked the rest of the dinner, which was mashed potatoes, corn in butter, green beans with dried cranberries, and a big tossed salad. Marilyn made a huge bowl of Jello with fruit again and we had lots of Cool Whip too. Then there were home baked cookies & fresh water.
Dave loaded all the food once more for us, into two cars this time. K.C., Sally and Harvey loaded all the backpacks into their two trucks to transport over to the parks. Yeah, we needed two whole truck beds. :) Hilde's Great Grandkids Michael (14) and lil' Lexie (12) helped too. :)
When we got to the first park there were quite a bunch of homeless waiting, looking quite hungry. They formed a long line pretty quickly and we hustled to get everything set up. Thank you Hilde, Kim, Gerry, Sally, K.C., Marilyn, and Michael for serving the food and water. We all were a great team and fed 63 people altogether. :)
Thank you cute Lexie for taking most of the photos that follow & Marilyn for contributing some also !! Great job you two !! :) It was hard to choose which ones to post here, there are many. :)
Mark, Frank and Sandy it was wonderful to see your sweet faces at Santa Rita Park and to be able to spend at least a few seconds with you !! :) I truly wish I could have had more time with you !! And Bryce, it was nice to meet you !! :)
Earlier in the day Mary came over with more items to put into the backpacks, plus blankets and warm clothes. So I hustled to get them all into the backpacks too. Thank you my Mary Mouse, and Dennis for giving up your Dad's warm coat. :)
After everyone had full bellies we handed out the filled to the top backpacks and in addition everyone got new T-shirts and underwear in their sizes. :) All the people in the parks were so grateful and happy and that made all of us happy too. :)
We went to the second park after that and repeated it all once more. It was such a wonderful evening and stretched Christmas out for all a little longer for all of us !! :)
The night before I tackled all the cookies & was able to put 10 to 12 cookies, depending on the size, into each backpack. :) I ended up with close to 1000 cookies after all & would like to thank all the wonderful bakers who took the time to help out, especially at the last minute for some. :)
Thank you Buck, Alison, Ginger, Marianne and her two lil' girls Chelsey and Heather, Katie, Racheal, Dolly, Dawn, Nicole and Nathan, April, Leigh, Deena, and Inna, who baked her first cookies ever and 16 dozen at that !! And a big thank you also goes to Audrey and Rose for baking 18 dozen !! :) I have some left over, which are frozen, so I can take them when we serve the next regular meals. It's always great to have home baked cookies for the people in the parks. :)
Thank you to each and everyone of you for helping make this Christmas Celebration possible and for being my Angel Helpers !! :) I am always grateful and feel blessed by all your Kindness !! :)
Wishing you all a truly happy and fulfilling 2014 filled with many blessings each and every day !!