LOGAN – There is a huge effort underway by local volunteers, service groups, businesses, Cache County and Logan City to make sure many families have a home-cooked Thanksgiving dinner this year. United Hearts to Home, a grassroots organization, is attempting to deliver nearly 1,000 Thanksgiving meals to shut-ins and people who would not be able to have a Thanksgiving dinner.
Jimmy Birman, executive director of United Way of Cache Valley, said he was contacted by Liz Butcher of Utah Artisan Mercantile and creator of Butcher’s Bunches about giving a cooked Thanksgiving meal for families and individuals in need.
“Last year she fed about 300 people by herself,” he said. “She talked with me and we decided there was a bigger need so we decided to see if we could get more people involved.”
Things took off and more sponsors jumped on board. JustServe.org, Cache Valley Humanitarian Center, Blackstone, Roof Rescue, Cache County, Logan City, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and others pulled resources together try to make a Thanksgiving meal happen for forgotten families.
It is going to take a host of volunteers to make it successful.
“I’m going to be there, and I have family coming from Las Vegas to help,” Birman said. “This is a family-friendly project and children can help, too, as long as they are accompanied by an adult.”
Volunteers are needed at Blue Square, located at 1111 N. 800 E. To sign up, go to JustServe.org.
“We would like people to come for four-hour blocks if they can,” Birman said. “If we have to, we will take people for less time.”
Gary Andersen and his wife Diane are JustServe.org coordinators for Cache Valley. He said it was easy to navigate the website.
“We have multiple service opportunities right now,” he said. “We understand some people are hurting for food this time of year.”
JustServe.org is not a place for people to do fund raising, it is strictly for posting service opportunities.
“Our goal is to work with United Way and the others to be successful at what they are trying to do,” he said. “This is a great community for people to volunteer and having this Thanksgiving project right now is a great place to serve.”
Butcher was excited for the willingness of organizations and volunteers that have stepped up to help this year. They had 60 turkeys and 40 hams given to them for the dinners.
“When people found out what we were doing they came out of the woodwork to help,” she said. “A lot of businesses wanted to help. We live in a great area it seems like everyone wants a chance to do something good.”
Butcher said there were several businesses that need to be recognized for their support: Ogden’s Tri City Food Pantry, Cache Valley Food Pantry, Schreiber’s Foods, Texas Roadhouse, USU Catering, Marriott/Elements and multiple Local Farm, Lee’s Marketplace, Old Grist Mill, Blackstone, Jimmy John and many more have agreed to donate product or cook some of the food.
“We have 14 board of directors who have been meeting for a month planning this,” she said. “Every single person deserves to have a good home cooked meal on Thanksgiving: turkey, rolls, potatoes.”
There are a few businesses offering Thanksgiving dinners and this effort is for those who can’t get to someplace for a holiday meal.
Volunteers are needed on Tuesday, Nov. 23, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., 1 p.m.-5 p.m., or 3 p.m.-7 p.m.; Wednesday, Nov 24 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., 1 p.m.-5 p.m., or 3 p.m.-7 p.m.; and, Thanksgiving Day, Thursday Nov. 25 the food will be delivered from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.