Monday, November 23, 2009

Inland Empire Needy Families Come Together To Give Thanks

 For many years, The Salvation Army has included pies baked by students from Inland Empire Job Corps on its Thanksgiving menu. Other volunteers work on Thanksgiving Day to serve a meal of turkey, stuffing, potatoes, gravy, vegetables and, of course, pie.

The Salvation Army of San Bernardino will serve a traditional Thanksgiving dinner to hundreds on Thursday, Nov. 26. Hospitality House Shelter Director Roosevelt Carroll received 15 donated turkeys from State Senator Gloria Negrete-McLeod. San Bernardino County Fifth District Supervisor Josie Gonzales also donated turkeys.

The Inland Empire Job Corps donated 300  pies to The Salvation Army's Thanksgiving feast this year. Donating them to Hospitality House Shelter Director Roosevelt Carroll (left) and to Director Capt. Stephen Ball (right) were Job Corps students Michael Covington, Shawn Green and Julian Chavez and Culinary Instructor Michael Gerud.

(SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) This holiday season the San Bernardino and Riverside Salvation Army Corps both plan Thanksgiving dinners to help the needy families of the Inland Empire.

The San Bernardino Corps will serve dinner from 11 am to 2 pm on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 26, at its Corps headquarters building, 746 W. Fifth St.

“We’re serving a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with turkey, potatoes, gravy, stuffing, vegetables and pie,” said Capt. Nancy Ball, co-director of the San Bernardino Corps.

San Bernardino County Fifth District Supervisor Josie Gonzales has donated 10 of the turkeys, although it could use more, as the crowd can typically go through 20 turkeys and 20 sliced hams. The Inland Empire Job Corps is donating 300 pies created by its culinary students – 100 pumpkin, 100 apple and 100 cherry.

The Riverside Thanksgiving dinner takes place Wednesday, Nov. 25 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Most of the food for this event will come through donations the Riverside Corps acquires via KOLA radio station’s “Fill the Van” event, which took place Friday, Nov. 20.

The annual Thanksgiving meals bring in hundreds of families and individuals who do not have the means to provide themselves a Thanksgiving dinner. People come from all parts of the Inland Empire for the celebrations. The San Bernardino event alone has served close to 900 people in one year.

At both Corps, the hungry families are joined by hundreds of volunteers for the day who help prepare the food and serve meals to the families. An estimated 125 volunteers helped the San Bernardino Corps in 2008.

“Thanksgiving should be a special day for everyone not just for those who can afford it,” says Capt. Ball.

To receive information about the dates and times for the dinners at other corps besides San Bernardino and Riverside, or to volunteer, give them a call at 1800-SAL-ARMY or 1-800-725-2769.

About the Salvations Army San Bernardino Corps
The Salvation Army may be able to provide emergency services including food; lodging for homeless or displaced families; clothing and furniture; assistance with rent or mortgage and transportation when funds are available. The Salvation Army Team Radio Network assists rescue workers and evacuees in such disasters as fires.

The Salvation Army is an evangelical part of the Universal Christian church and also offers evangelical programs for boys, girls and adults. One of the largest charitable and international service organizations in the world, The Salvation Army has been in existence since 1865 and in San Bernardino since 1887, supporting those in need without discrimination. Donations may always be made online at or by calling 1-(800)-SAL-ARMY.