A caravan of sirens and red and blue lights maneuvered their way through the streets of Mission to deliver Thanksgiving dinners to 70 low-income families, Nov. 24. For the third year, the city of Mission partnered with local organizations to bring Thanksgiving to families that may not be able to afford a meal for the holiday.
The selected residents received a phone call earlier in the week and were told to wait outside their home for their bag of goods. Families lined the streets in huddles as the caravan pulled into their neighborhoods and city officials and law enforcement handed them the supplies for their meal. Each family received a turkey, donated by Keystone Construction, and a bag with ingredients for side dishes, including boxed mashed potatoes, stuffing, cans of cranberry sauce, corn, gravy mix, and bread.
Recipient San Juana Valdez carried her son on her hip as City Manager Martin Garza carried her Thanksgiving box to her doorstep. With his blazer removed and his sleeves rolled up, he handed out boxes with the rest of the volunteers, including Councilwoman Jessica Ortega and Councilman Armando O’Caña.
O’Caña reminded the rest of the attendees to be grateful for they have the opportunity to be with their families during the holidays.
“It’s important that we unite as a family, as a city and that we thank God for the wonderful things that we have,” O’Caña said. “Last year I had the opportunity to see the (families’) smiles…and it’s just incredible.”
Some of the organizations that partnered with the city for the donations include Mission Crime Stoppers, Escalera Wrecker Inc., and the Mission fire and police departments.
Garza said each year the amount of participants grows, which allows them to provide for more families.
“This is one of the days that we’re always looking forward to because it’s about giving to families in need,” he said. “It’s only because of organizations and supporters from the city of Mission that this continues to happen, it’s because of their donations.”
Councilwoman Ortega and her daughters rode along in the fire truck with the volunteers from Mission Fire Department. She said last year her household adopted a family in need and enjoys sharing a little “token of love” to others.
“This holiday season is just so nice to spend with family, but always remember those that cannot do it themselves,” Ortega said. “Maybe just think about starting something new, a tradition within your own family and giving back to our community would be something very awesome.”