Cleveland church opens door to the needy for Thanksgiving meal

CLEVELAND - Laughter, music and hot food filled the parish hall of Cleveland's St. Augustine Roman Catholic Church Thursday as volunteers served a Thanksgiving meal to more than 300 people in need.

"I love to dance," said 4-year-old Alissah Abernathy who arrived at the church with her older brother and parents for a turkey dinner.

Abernathy quickly took to the dance floor while a singer belted out pop songs during the two-hour event.

"There's something that fills your heart when you see these people that are just wanting love and wanting to see another face and get a meal," said Annette Maund, an adult volunteer who danced with Abernathy to Earth, Wind and Fire's hit song "September." Maund has served holiday meals at the church since she was 13 years old.

St. Augustine began its annual tradition of serving Thanksgiving to the poor and the homeless thirty-five years ago.

"They're grateful for it, they're thankful for it, and they show so much love," said Sister Corita Ambro of St. Augustine.

"It's a wonderful meal. People are so generous," said Anita Psomas, a recipient who is visually impaired. "It's been sort of a rough year. I've had a lot of expenses."

About 60 volunteers participated in the event, serving food, cleaning tables and conversing with guests.

"That's where you really get to feel good is to connect with people," said Petra Platzer of University Heights who is a first-time volunteer. Platzer said she decided to assist at St. Augustine because none of her family is close by to celebrate the holiday.

"My hope for the season is to get on my feet and get my life together," said Eric Martin who is homeless. Martin packaged extra slices of pumpkin pie to eat later.

The church's hunger center serves food to the needy daily and will be serving a holiday meal on Christmas. Donations for their cause may be sent to the St. Augustine Church at 2486 W. 14th St., Cleveland, OH 44113.

Print this article Back to Top

Comments

Thanksgiving

Berea food pantry out of turkeys days before Thanksgiving Berea food pantry out of turkeys days before Thanksgiving
A local food pantry in Berea is out of turkeys days before Thanksgiving due to overwhelming need within the community. 
 
St. Augustine Hunger Center requesting reservations for those in need of food service St. Augustine Hunger Center requesting reservations for those in need of food service

St. Augustine Hunger Center is asking those in need to call and place a reservation in order to receive food service.

Will stores be fined for not opening on Thanksgiving? Will stores be fined for not opening on Thanksgiving?

John Matarese looks into the hottest rumor on social media right now

Thanksgiving recipes: Oat-inspired side dishes Thanksgiving recipes: Oat-inspired side dishes

When most folks think of oatmeal, they think breakfast.

'All About That Baste': Holderness family Thanksgiving video

The Holderness family, who brought us "#XMAS JAMMIES" is back with a Thanksgiving video.

Cleveland food bank readies for holiday hunger Cleveland food bank readies for holiday hunger

The Greater Cleveland Food Bank kicks off their holiday season with a big donation. 

Black Friday 2014: Which stores are refusing to open on Black Friday 2014: Which stores are refusing to open on 'Black Thursday'?

John Matarese reports that not every store is moving Black Friday up to Thursday.

Man pleads not guilty to charges after Thanksgiving day car crash Man pleads not guilty to charges after Thanksgiving day car crash

A northeast Ohio man has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to vehicular homicide charges after authorities say he was traveling at more than 125 mph when his car struck a minivan, killing the couple inside it.

NYPD optimistic Macy NYPD optimistic Macy's parade balloons will fly

Snoopy, Spider-Man and the rest of the iconic balloons have gotten the all-clear to fly between Manhattan skyscrapers at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

President Obama pardons turkeys Popcorn, Caramel as part of annual rite President Obama pardons turkeys Popcorn, Caramel as part of annual rite

President Barack Obama spared two turkeys from the brine and the oven Wednesday, fulfilling the annual tradition of a presidential pardon for a couple of lucky birds ahead of Thanksgiving Day.