AUBURN | Inclement weather did not stop local volunteers from delivering Thanksgiving dinners to at-need families on Wednesday.
The effort was organized by local not-for-profit Majorpalooza and the Auburn Police Benevolent Association. At least 45 meals were given to families residing within the Auburn Enlarged City School District.
Majorpalooza gathered Thanksgiving food donations from a variety of sources. Forty-five turkeys were garnered from donations from every school within the Auburn Enlarged City School District while the Auburn Junior High School Orchestra donated a number of holiday pies.
Majorpalooza and the PBA took care of the sides: stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and other Thanksgiving staples. Larger families were allocated with larger servings as needed.
The meals were packaged together on Wednesday at Auburn Junior High School with a volunteer effort by district employees and students, police officers and a number of local families with their children. The meals were subsequently delivered to families during the better part of the morning. Deliveries were completed by around 10:30 a.m.
This was the second year Majorpalooza, the PBA and the school district have coordinated like this for the holidays. Last year, 30 meals were delivered to at-need households. Chris Major, chairman of Majorpalooza, said he hopes the effort grows in the future.
Major, who also serves as a school resource officer at the junior high school, said he was impressed with how quickly the teachers from the school district rose to the occasion and committed to donating a turkey. With his work as a school resource officer, Major said he sees how important efforts like Wednesday's are.
"Bottom line, the need is there," he said. "There's a lot of poverty in this community."
Dave Oliver, principal of Auburn Junior High School, volunteered to deliver a number of the meals on Wednesday. He said staff members within his school, as well as the entire district, have always risen to the occasion when families are in need.
"There's just a caring and giving nature in this building," he said.
Oliver was not alone in the delivery efforts as more than 10 individuals volunteered their time to get the meals out. Among those volunteers was Joe Locastro, a staff member at the junior high.
Locastro gave his grandson, 12-year-old Aiden Tardif, the idea to volunteer during Wednesday's event. Tardif, a seventh-grader at the middle school, answered the call, choosing to spend a better part of his day off from classes to help out.
"It's nice to help people who can't help themselves," Tardif said.