Charity Makes Holiday Possible

With the holiday season at hand, the sight of a room filled with family members, the sounds of laughter, and the aroma of food becomes all too familiar. For those unfortunate families this is all but an image they can only imagine. Every year, around this time many needy families go without a Thanksgiving dinner.

This year the National Charity League Chapter of Pasadena is made this year's Thanksgiving dinner a reality for Hillsides Family Center clients.

The National Charity League asked its members to help a deserving family for Thanksgiving. Members collected food baskets and delivered them to Hillsides, a residential and a community treatment center that creates safe places for children at risk and their families.

These baskets, arranged with the essentials for a Thanksgiving dinner, included canned fruits and vegetables, mashed potatoes, dried beans, chicken broth, pasta, rice, stuffing mix, cake mix, icing and much more. As well as receiving these baskets, the families received gift cards from Vons to purchase the main course and any other items needed. The distribution of baskets to 111 families from Hillsides' facilities began yesterday and will continue through Thanksgiving week.

"By receiving these baskets, families will have a Thanksgiving without stress. They won't have to worry about money. They can focus more on relaxing, and enjoying their holiday with their families," said Stacey Bernstein- Roth, Hillsides Family Center director.

The National Charity League has been involved with Hillsides for the past three years by donating time at Hillsides' library, donating items for Easter baskets and holding a candy drive for Halloween.

"This is the first year the National Charity League donated Thanksgiving baskets to Hillsides, but hopefully with its success will continue to go on," said Laura Kelso, Hillsides' director of community resources, and coordinator of the event.

With the generous help from the members of the National Charity League, Thanksgiving dinner this year was one filled with laughter, cheer and love for families who in the past have not been fortunate enough to have one.20051201iqonzhkn(LA)HELPING THE NEEDY -- Maureen Lanktree, Hillsides' therapist, helps Janis Reid, Hillsides' program manager, load her car with Thanksgiving baskets donated by the National Charity League Chapter of Pasadena for Hillsides Family Center clients.

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