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Organizations make Thanksgiving happen for area families

Carver Center, realtors, KHS students provide meals for 30 families

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GIVING — Torian Smith and Ezra Worley load fixings for a Thanksgiving dinner in Joyce Pennington's van outside of Carver Community Center.

Several organizations came together last week to ensure 30 area families wouldn’t be without a Thanksgiving dinner.

Local realtors with The Realtors Association donated all the fixings, while Carver Community Center provided the location and found the recipients. Then, the Kokomo High School boys’ basketball team organized the donations and loaded them into the recipients’ vehicles.

“This means a lot because most of the families we called, some of them didn’t have no means of having turkey at all, and they had kids in the household. So I was getting even extra calls after we filled up because there were so many needy families,” said Danta Rogers, executive director of Carver Community Center.

Rogers said he called about 15 families that were involved with the Carver Center that he knew might be in need and then took calls to fill the remaining 15 slots.

Joyce Pennington was the first recipient to pick up the meal, which included a turkey, a pan for cooking, stuffing, gravy, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, a pumpkin pie, whipped cream, and more.

“In a time of need, I am blessed. I am thankful,” Pennington said.

Bob Wonnell, the KHS boys’ basketball coach, said the outreach was a good experience for the team, and he hoped to do something similar annually.

“I am really grateful to Coach Rogers for giving this opportunity to our boys. It’s always great to get to serve and help others especially over the holidays but just in general. And I think as kids start to think about that more, about doing things for others and less about themselves, it’s a wonderful thing,” Wonnell said.

The Realtors Association, which represents six counties, put on Thanksgiving outreaches in each of its counties. Amy Pate, executive vice president of The Realtors Association, thanked all of the local realtors who donated and make the event a success.

“As realtors, we really look at opportunities to give back to our community. We are obviously very engaged in the community throughout the year … so we look for different opportunities to engage as an association with different agencies,” Pate said. “It wasn’t just the association; it was the realtors of this community.”