KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A metro organization is taking donations to help area families in need have an enjoyable and traditional Thanksgiving at home.
Recipients of "Operation Thanksgiving" meals from Della Lamb told FOX 4 having Thanksgiving at home makes them just like other families. Della Lamb packed 1,700 bags of groceries on Saturday. It’s a huge undertaking that takes a village of volunteers to accomplish.
It begins with 1,700 bags gradually filled with everything needed for a feast: mashed potatoes, vegetables, cranberry sauce and pie. On Tuesday, a big turkey and other perishables will round out the fixings.
"Della Lamb provides that opportunity so people's bellies can be full and you can have a meal and love with your family and you can have joy," said Della Lamb volunteer Angie Fuller.
Fuller volunteers at Della Lamb three days a week, because she remembers hard times when she was a child.
"There were times we didn't have utilities or food in the home and Della Lamb provides that for the families,” she said.
Crystal Mason knows how that feels. She moved to Kansas City from Texas eight years ago with only $53. Della Lamb helped her find a job and still gives her the ingredients for a Thanksgiving meal for her big family.
“Just to be able to do what everybody else do,” said Mason. “It put the joy back in it. Living with joy is one thing because it’s hard out here.”
Operation Thanksgiving started 22 years ago with 250 families. This year, Della Lamb will put seven times that many meals on tables in the metro, and they count on help from those who are thankful for the blessing of a good year.
“And some of us have risen up out of nothing and we didn't do that self-made. We did it because another reached out and helped us. It really is a village helping individuals,” said Judy Akers of Della Lamb.
"It doesn't matter if you are black white or brown. Della Lamb helps you and that makes you feel wonderful,” said Fuller.
A long line will wrap around the Della Lamb building Tuesday when they distribute the bags of food.
If you would like to contribute, you can drop off donations, especially turkey, to the Della Lamb center or make an online donation at dellalamb.org.