Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York marked Thanksgiving this year by giving away turkeys and trimmings for some 370 families at the Lieutenant Joseph P. Kennedy Center in Harlem Nov. 22.
Apple juice, milk, onions, stuffing, green beans, cranberry sauce and yams were among the extras given out alongside turkeys.
Mary Encarnacion was one of the recipients. It was needed this year, she said, as an eye injury she suffered has prevented her from working her job at a bodega and the offering will allow her family to celebrate the holiday this year.
“These people are very kind,” said Olguine, another recipient, who said it was the third year she has been able to receive Thanksgiving dinner via Catholic Charities. Recipient Violeta Luis said it was the 15th year in a row that her family has received the holiday assistance, and she expressed her gratitude.
The Harlem site was just one around Manhattan where turkeys were distributed. Catholic Charities also sponsored turkey distribution events in the Bronx, East Harlem and Washington Heights. In all, some 1,100 families received the meals.
Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, Executive Director of Catholic Charities, greeted recipients at the Harlem site and delivered a blessing.
He urged all New Yorkers to reach out this holiday season to those families in need, especially those seeking asylum who have recently arrived and are celebrating their first Thanksgiving in the United States.
The annual turkey distribution has been supported through the generosity of the D’Urso family.
“It has been my great privilege to support Catholic Charities turkey distribution at the Kennedy Center for all these years. It has always been important to me to give back to the community, to make a difference in the lives of those in need. It sincerely makes me happy to know that the families here today will be able to gather around the table and enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with their families and loved ones,” said Mark D’Urso, who spoke for the family.