The Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica (BGCSM) shared Thanksgiving dinner with a record-breaking number of members and their families this past week.
BGCSM staff and volunteers served more than 1200 delicious Thanksgiving dinners to appreciative and hungry crowds at six branch sites.
The Main Branch in Santa Monica hosted 400 plus members and families (including members from St. Anne’s, St. Sebastian’s, JAMS and Olympic branches) with food from Boston Markets, and help from volunteers including the UCLA Medical Group.
In addition, the newly opened Mar Vista Gardens Branch served more than 650 Thanksgiving meals with food generously donated from Ralphs.
“The turnout for Thanksgiving dinner in our very first year of operation is indicative of how necessary this site is to the Mar Vista community,” said Jessica Rubecindo, the branch’s Director.
Aaron Young, BGCSM’s CEO was also thrilled with the level of participation.
“As an important Los Angeles-based community resource, our goal is to help as many families as we can, especially those experiencing severe economic hardship,” Young said. “This outreach is important to us year round, but during the holiday season we make an extra effort to spread some joy to those that need it most.”
Providing Thanksgiving dinner to members and families is part of BGCSM’s Family Assistance program that is celebrating 25 years of spreading holiday cheer.
In addition to serving holiday meals, Family Assistance takes children shopping for clothes, families shopping for groceries, and also supports those in dire needs with appliances and furniture.
This year’s Family Assistance campaign is called “Be A Holiday Hero,” and participating stores include Sears Santa Monica, JCPenney’s Fox Hill Mall and Santa Monica Albertson’s.