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Friday, December 2, 2022
ArlingtonQ&A: Thanksgiving effort requires all hands on deck

Q&A: Thanksgiving effort requires all hands on deck

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The Arlington Knights of Columbus is gearing up for its annual Thanksgiving-meal effort, which is expected to feed more than 2,500 people this year.

For information on the initiative – a tradition for generations – see the Website at www.bit.ly/thanksgivingarlington.

The Sun Gazette recently checked in with Kate Gilchrist McMorrow, who with her husband Myles McMorrow is chairing the initiative.

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With the days counting down, how are things looking for this annual tradition?

We are doing fairly well to be on track. We are in need of monetary donations. Costs have gone up this year, and the need in the community seems to be greater.

How much planning is involved, and what amount of volunteer support do you need to bring it off?

I plan and begin coordinating with the Meals on Wheels, Arlington County Human/Protective/Elderly/Behavioral Services, 19 shelters, Section 8 housing, rehabs and domestic-violence shelters in early September. I spend about 250 hours planning and preparing for Thanksgiving. I count on the fellow members of the Knights at the Arlington Council as well as numerous community volunteers, whether it be through social-media posts or through newspapers and church bulletins.

This is a life-changing event, for those who volunteer and those receiving the meals. It is my most stressful time of year, but honestly, the most rewarding thing I do.

With COVID (hopefully) moving to the rear-view mirror, is the 2022 event more like pre-COVID Thanksgivings, or are there still significant changes?

Significant changes. We no longer do the sit-down portion of Thanksgiving, because we have found we can feed more of the community if we don’t have to stop to set up. We also can no longer accept outside cooked turkeys. We buy and cook all the food ourselves.

Who is the target audience you are hoping to reach with this event, and has that changed over the years?

Our target has always been the same. It has evolved and grown, especially during the past few years, because of COVID. My goal is to feed ANYONE who needs a meal. We don’t want anyone to be forgotten, and hopefully, this makes them feel a little less lonely and that we are grateful for them on Thanksgiving!

What can the public do at this stage to support either this year’s event or support it in future years?

Monetary donations and volunteer delivery drivers are needed. For drivers, it is approximately one hour out of the day, and those who wish to donate can go to http://www.sagepayments.net/eftcart/forms/donate.asp?M_id=221841925176.

Kate Gilchrist McMorrow and her husband Myles McMorrow lead the annual Thanksgiving-dinner initiative.
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