ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Thanksgiving is here and while there is a lot to be thankful for after making it through a long challenging year, it’s important to remember we help those through the holidays who have less. Charities are putting up more open dining gatherings for the homeless and those in need around our area. 

Volunteers of America manages the Foundation House where we are which is supportive housing for 25 men who have nowhere to go and need a variety of health treatment. Despite missing Thanksgiving last year in the traditional setting, they brought it back this time around.  

Through homemade and donated food by the volunteers themselves, all 25 men gathered in the main dining area for a big meal sharing the good times with one another.  

A common tradition some people take for granted is a special treat for those who don’t have a family to get together with or afford hot meals and their own housing. Volunteers of America treat this as a huge support boost as they work to lift these men out of poverty.  

During their meal, each person was given a paper to write about what they’re thankful for and different skills or goals they must keep in mind as they work to better themselves going into next year.  

“It gives me a sense of family and being together to share,” Denis Platten, a resident of the Foundation House said. “Thanksgiving was a big deal growing up and just because people here are homeless and separated from their families for one reason or another, they made it available, so we have a space to give us a chance to reciprocate.” 

“Today is about gathering with family and a lot of families are different,” Upstate New York Volunteers of America CEO Lynn Sullivan added. “We had 25 individuals here for today all from different walks of life and they gathered here as a family. When you think of thanksgiving, thanksgiving is families getting together and these individuals are not related but they’ve all come down to celebrate this special day and have time to spend with those they’ve got to know.”  

If you would like to volunteer and donate to volunteers of America‘s upstate New York branch you can do so by clicking here.