A special Thanksgiving serving

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FILE – This Nov. 2, 2009, file photo shows a Thanksgiving turkey in Concord, N.H. Food safety experts say raw turkeys shouldn’t be rinsed, since that can spread harmful bacteria. Cooking should kill any germs. But bacteria can still spread in other ways, so washing and sanitizing hands and surfaces is still important. (AP Photo/Larry Crowe, File)

At the Cristo Rey Community Center, serving is at the core of what they believe in. And on this Thanksgiving, Director Joe Garcia and a team of volunteers were ready to give a holiday feast to a community that means so much to so many people.

“This has been going on for twenty plus years and basically it’s giving to the community. You know it’s the start of the holiday season and we want to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to start the holiday season right,” said CEO at the Cristo Rey Community Center, Joe Garcia.      

As a first generation American, Joe remembers the challenges he’s faced and the lessons he’s learned about being thankful and giving back.       

“We didn’t always have it easy with different challenges that one faces that way but to be able to then fast forward into now and being able to give back like that. You know what it feels great,” said Garcia.

For Isaiah Copelan and his family this is a tradition six years in the making, and one that sets an example of what a community should look like.

“It means a lot. It’s cool to see a place that really gives back to the community and does a lot for a lot of different people. Everybody is welcome. Even if you don’t have a place to go this is a great place to come on Thanksgiving. So just to be able to see the community really love on people is really nice,” said Copelan.

The volunteers also delivered meals to those that couldn’t make it out. For Joe and his team, it’s the thought of giving that he continues to carry with him.

“We all have come to learn that there is just as much reward in giving as there is in receiving. And it’s a great example. Sorry about that but it always chokes me up even when I say those words,” said Garcia. 

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