Kindness still welcome this Thanksgiving, but organizers are making some changes


FRESNO, California (KGPE) – Thanksgiving is normally the time people volunteer to help those in need, but the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has forced change.

“We are so missing our volunteers,” said Diane Chrisman with Community Medical Foundation.

Every Thanksgiving volunteers cook for the families staying at Terry’s House, a home away from home for families of hospital patients. But COVID-19 has forced that effort into hiatus.

“Our families have to schedule time in our community kitchen to cook, so it’s not as though they can be together with the other families here in the home. So we ask that people donate,” Chrisman said.

Chrisman says it can be in the form of money or catered meals.

For the local Ronald McDonald House, it is the same message.

“We’re so thankful that volunteers are stepping up to deliver individual package Thanksgiving meals for each of the families staying with us at the house,” said Alene Mestjian with Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Central Valley. “So they can celebrate the holiday in a different way but still be close to their kiddo in the hospital.”

The Fresno Mission is planning to hold its annual Thanksgiving luncheon on Tuesday.

“One of the things we’re trying to do is adapt and pivot in these times, where we can welcome everybody in but we’re also making sure we’re taking safety measures,” said Desmond Camacho with Fresno Mission.

Officials with the Fresno Mission will be screening people and volunteers for symptoms and making sure people stay at least six feet apart.

All organizations ask those eager to donate to call first – before dropping items off.

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