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Thanksgiving event helped lift holiday spirit

This holiday season has been difficult for many families dealing not only with the pandemic, but with job loss, businesses closing, and social distancing restrictions.

During these times, the community has risen to the challenge to help support neighbors and unite the city.

Facing a Thanksgiving that was void of the usual holiday events, residents had to find ways to celebrate the holiday.

An example of Thanksgiving spirit was the event held at the Shafter Recreation Department in which 100 families were able to shop in the Recreation Department's parking lot to gather ingredients for a complete Thanksgiving dinner for their family.

Organizations such as the Shafter Kiwanis, Shafter Lions Club, Shafter Mennonite Brethren Church and the Shafter Commanders were on hand to dole out ingredients needed for the holiday dinner including a turkey, potatoes and canned vegetables.

A couple of local sponsors stepped up to make the purchases of the turkeys possible. GAF donated $300 and California Home Loans donated around $1,100.

One recipient sent a message on social media the same night which read, "Thank you, Shafter Rec, for collaborating with local community service clubs and businesses in donating Thanksgiving food. Our family is grateful. We were hit with COVID-19 ourselves, a single income 5-member family. We thought it would be a quick ordeal, but it was not. My husband was laid off, he was very ill, and it took 7 weeks before he could return to work while we recovered as well. We lost grandparents and cousins during this time. These things are unforeseen and it was a struggle to wait for unemployment for over 6 weeks but we are catching up, we thank God for healing and we just wanted to say thank you for thinking of families in the community during this pandemic and the holidays."

Shafter Recreation District Manager Phillip Jimenez said, "Thanks to all the great Shafter businesses, organizations and individuals who came together to care about our neighbors! It was amazing to see how quickly and generously everyone responded; it really made this possible. This may need to become an annual event!"


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