Niagara Gazette — It's longtime volunteers like Eugene Pacia of Porter and Charlie Eames of Youngstown, both in their 80s, who help cover the bases for the Missions today. They will tell you what they've discovered over the years: They may be the only faces that a person receiving the meal will see all day.
The Community Missions complex with its main office in the former Hiawatha Inn, Buffalo Avenue, was founded in Niagara Falls in 1925. In earlier days, the mission was housed in the 200 block of Second Street, near the former United Office Building. In 2011, the local mission served 71,159 meals and provided more than 8,500 nights of care to families and individuals in need. Today, the Mission will be shuttling people from its Buffalo Avenue site to the Hard Rock Cafe, Prospect Street, which is sponsoring a Thanksgiving Day dinner for some 240 persons. In addition, meals will be delivered to 17 shut-ins unable to make it to the restaurant. Ms. Davis says the recipients are elated just for that brief visit.
Katie Trombley, public relations manager for the missions, said the word is out that turkeys are also needed to help families with their Christmas Day dinner. "We need help to get gobblers or hams," she added. If someone wants to drop off a turkey or ham — even a gift certificate for either — the mission staff would deeply appreciate it. Anyone with questions about such donations may contact Trombley at 285-3403, ext. 2225.
FOOTNOTE: It seems that this holiday now is noted more for the start of the Christmas shopping season than for a special time to give thanks for our blessings. In fact, the Black Friday "deals" at the mall, unfortunately, vie for much of our attention. Maybe we need to take a collective breath and reflect on the true meaning of this traditional feast day.
Happy Thanksgiving!Contact reporter Don Glynn at 282-2311, ext. 2263