Samaritan Center Hands Out Turkeys To Those In Need

6 years 4 weeks 1 day ago November 04, 2010 Nov 4, 2010 Thursday, November 04 2010 Thursday, November 04, 2010 10:49:24 PM CDT in News

JEFFERSON CITY - Many families were able to add to their Thankgiving meals thanks to the Samaritan Center in Jefferson City. Clients were able to pick up many kinds of food along with clothes as well. Volunteers were stationed arouned the center to pack the food into boxes, which then they carried to each client's car.

The big catch of the day was a Thanksgiving turkey. Each of the 82 families that were there Thursday night were able to pick one up with the res of their food.

Doreen Blackmon is one of the center's clients. She is pleased with what the center provides for her.

"It means a good Thanksgiving dinner for Thanksgiving and Easter dinner, and food for the month when I don't have [any]," Blackmon said.

However, the center is still looking for more donations to make sure they have enough supplies to cover the holidays.

Over the course of the past year, an average of 1,350 clients have visited the center each month. The center's opertaional manager, Ben Defeo, says the total cost of the food donated so far this year has been $1,403,208.11.

For the staff and volunteers, the experience has its own rewards.

"It's a gratifying experience the majority of the time," Defeo says. "There's not a day goes by that you don't positively impact somebody's life."

Defeo expects the number of families per month to increase because of the winter holidays. The center has various Christmas programs it offers during that time.

There are certain moments that Defeo takes away from his job.

A child is going to experience a great Chrsitmas because of people's generosity. You can't beats that. A little kid's smile is the best thing you're going to find," Defeo says.

The center also offers dentist and doctor services.

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