Published : Friday, November 29, 2019 | 5:52 AM
Pasadena police officers fanned out across Pasadena on Thanksgiving morning to deliver hot turkey dinners to those in need, including many elderly citizens in the community who are homebound.
The officers have been performing these acts of compassion for several years as the field arm of Pasadena’s Salvation Army Thanksgiving Day events, caring and feeding for the homeless and the forgotten.
Many of the off-duty officers brought along their spouses and children to help in the meal delivery and to get them to understand what helping people in need in the community is all about.
“We all have something to be thankful for,” Lt. Bill Grisafe, Pasadena Police Department Public Information Officer, said. “With all of the blessings bestowed upon members of the police department, this is a great opportunity for us to share these blessings to people in the community of Pasadena who are not as fortunate.”
Grisafe added several of the officers brought their children to help serve this morning and was surprised so many teenaged kids showed up, considering the time of morning.
One of the teens told Grisafe she is able to earn charitable volunteer hours for a school club, but she enjoys helping out with this event even if it meant waking up early.
“Serving hot food to these members of the community give us a chance to give back to those who are less fortunate in hopes they have something to be just as thankful for.”
About 30 employees of the Police Department take part in the annual delivery mission every year, but the number of volunteers helping the Salvation Army usually triples when the families come along.
Captain Terry Masango, Executive Director of the Salvation Army Pasadena Corps, said the arrangement for police officers to help in the delivery of hot meals for the needy started back in 1999. Masango led a briefing and prayer Thursday morning before the volunteers set out on their mission.
“We’re just so overjoyed that you guys came out and showed the Salvation Army what we want to be part of. So thank you so very much,” Masango told the gathered police officers and employees. “I know this is going to be something that you all benefit from because, again, not everybody has that family that they can have dinner with, and we’ve got to be that family today.”
The local Salvation Army Tabernacle Corps prepares about 800 hot turkey dinners every year, and half of these are delivered by Pasadena police officers, police department employees and volunteers.
The rest are served to those who come to the Salvation Army facility at 960 E. Walnut Street, where the tables Thursday were resplendent in holiday decorations. Many of the other volunteers were onsite to help prepare the meals and pack them.
By about 11 a.m., most of the hot Thanksgiving meals have been delivered.
“Delivering hot food to those who are less fortunate represents the true meaning of Thanksgiving. Teaming up with the Salvation Army for this event is a great reminder for members of the police department and their families, of the importance of giving back to the community we serve,” Grisafe said.