ST. LOUIS — On Thanksgiving, as many eat around a table or hang out with family, others don't have the same opportunity on their own.
Thanks to volunteers and generous organizations, they could still have a holiday to remember.
Michelle Roosa's family preps food Thanksgiving morning. These meals aren't for the family of four.
"The last 20 months have been really hard on everybody in the community with COVID, so we thought it was the best way to respond and give back, " Roosa says.
That's why they are volunteering for the St. Patrick Center, an organization helping our community since 1983.
Amanda Laumeyer, St. Patrick's Senior Director of Development says they help people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
Folks were handing out Thanksgiving meals to nearly 150 people Thursday and among the volunteers was one unexpected guest.
"Having the archbishop with us today is very special. This is a new archbishop, so this is the first time he's been here for Thanksgiving. St. Patrick Center is under one of the Catholic Charities of St. Louis, which falls under the archdiocese," Laumeyer adds.
Most Reverend Mitchell Thomas Rozanski is the 10th archbishop of St. Louis and was inducted in 2020, coming in during a difficult year.
"We know that life can be difficult, so we want to make today to show them and each and every day, we care about them," Rozanski shares.
COVID-19 threw us more hardships.
Laumeyer says for clients, "It's taking long to get them more stable and services are needed longer. We're seeing more of a need with eviction assistance, especially with the moratorium, they end up coming to St. Patrick's Center for help."
But it also brought new traditions.
"I think this will be a nice tradition for my family," Roosa admits.
The pandemic changed everything, but what remains is the power of love and the gift to give back.
"To share their gifts with others and be able to feed others, especially on Thanksgiving, is a blessing in our community and city of St. Louis," Rozanski says.
If you couldn't help on Thanksgiving, St. Patrick Center still has opportunities to give back beyond the holiday.
This Giving Tuesday, the St. Patrick Center has a grant match up to $25,000 through a sponsor. For every dollar donated, it will be matched. To donate, click here.