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SOS shares provisions with community

Share Our Selves was a frenzy of activity Wednesday morning, as local families and the homeless visited the nonprofit to accept food for Thanksgiving.

The Costa Mesa-based organization, founded 44 years ago, annually prepares meals for the holiday with its army of volunteers — 34 showed up Monday and Tuesday — but this year the workers were doing double-duty by doling out food and handling the charitable organization's regular services, which include providing emergency financial assistance and legal help.

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"There's good things going on here," said Julie Neja, SOS' volunteer services manager. She said food donations keep coming in.

"People are dropping off things on the back door like crazy," Neja said.

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More than 1,400 Thanksgiving food bags, 140 of which went to the homeless, were distributed from SOS' Superior Avenue facility in the days before the Thanksgiving holiday, staff said.

"We are very lucky that we have that sort of recognition here in the community," said Katie Santore, SOS' manager of online marketing and events.

SOS volunteers included workers from PIMCO and Yard House Restaurants. Panera Bread and other local businesses offered donations.

Yard House's corporate executive chef, Carlito Jocson, has been volunteering at SOS for more than a decade. Jocson's family received aid from SOS years ago, and now he gives back.

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Adam Feirman, chef and manager of culinary operations for Yard House, was doing "chicken wrangler" duty Wednesday morning.

Feirman, of Costa Mesa, quickly prepped the frozen birds for delivery. And he came ready for the task — with gloves and parka to handle the temperatures in the freezer.

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