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    Giving Back, Giving Thanks

    Thunder Bay firefighters partner with The Salvation Army to help those in need during the holidays. October 5, 2017 by Brent Linton
    Filed Under:
    Faith & Friends
    A Salvation Army volunteer passes out the pumpkin pie (Photos: Brent Linton)
    For Stephen Michano, last year’s Thanksgiving dinner at The Salvation Army’s Booth Centre in Thunder Bay, Ont., was a chance to show him as well as an estimated 300 other guests that they are not alone.

    “This is a great opportunity for people who can’t afford a big meal like this,” Stephen said. “It’s a good atmosphere and the people here are loving and helpful.”

    Giving Back
    The dinner, which included many Thanksgiving staples such as turkey and pumpkin pie, was hosted by members of the Thunder Bay Professional Fire Fighters Association. For the past 19 years, the association, family members and friends have given back to the community by helping out with the dinner.

    Firefighter Kevin Anderson said they see the need every day.

    Stephen Michano was one of the estimated 300 guests who enjoyed a free Thanksgiving meal at The Salvation Army Booth Centre in Thunder Bay
    “We see people who otherwise wouldn’t have a Thanksgiving dinner,” he said. “We are working on the streets, responding to calls. As a result, we deal with a lot of the less fortunate. So for 19 years, we have been just buying the turkeys. Guys come on their days off to volunteer, help serve, clean up, and it is just a way we can give back.”

    Holistic Help
    First-time volunteer Julia Reynolds spent her afternoon serving tables and said it was nice to be able to feed people. She said the experience gave her an idea about how important a meal can be.

    “This is an opportunity to spend time together and be thankful for and share what we have,” said Gail Kromm, a Salvation Army public-relations worker.

    Gail said The Salvation Army is expanding its programs to help people be better equipped to live in their own home.

    “We are helping them learn to care for a home, get along with their neighbours better and develop job skills,” she said. “It’s a holistic program called Journey to Life that helps men who are homeless or at risk of being homeless to have a full life that is independent of any assistance.”

    Reprinted from The Chronicle Journal, October 11, 2016

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