Even while you’re just waiting in line to enter Saturday’s annual Ski Sale, you can make a positive difference in the community.
For the third year in a row, the Glory Hall homeless shelter is partnering with the Ski Sale, Allen Marine and Heritage Coffee to gather donations of canned food and frozen turkeys Saturday in an effort called Giving Thanks. People who bring food items will get their choice of coffee or hot chocolate for free.
The Ski Sale — where people can get deals on new and used winter gear — runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Centennial Hall, but the line outside often starts forming earlier in the morning. Glory Hall Executive Director Mariya Lovishchuk said there will be volunteers from the shelter — board members and patrons — who will walk up and down the line and collect food.
There will be a younger crop of volunteers as well, Lovishchuk said, as a few members of the Juneau-Douglas High School National Honor Society will also be helping out. She didn’t have the exact numbers available during an interview, but Lovishchuk said they’re hoping to build on an event that picked up more food last year than the previous year.
“Last year was better for the Giving Thanks event than the first year,” Lovishchuk said. “This is the third year and I hope the third year is even better than the second year.”
According to a post on the shelter’s website, suggested food items include: turkeys, fresh or instant potatoes, gravy mix, sparkling cider, stuffing, whipped cream or any canned good that would fit in at a Thanksgiving dinner.
Allen Marine is starting off the donations with 25 frozen turkeys, Lovishchuk said, which the tour company also donated last year.
The Giving Thanks event also kicks off the Glory Hall’s busiest time of year. The shelter always puts together Thanksgiving baskets to bring to families who can’t afford a large Thanksgiving dinner. People can bring food to the shelter, located on South Franklin Street, any day of the week from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Lovishchuk emphasized that there are a few pick-up dates and that the earlier they have the donations the better. The baskets will be given out on Nov. 17-21. Anyone who would like to sign up for a Thanksgiving basket can call the shelter at 586-4159.
This annual drive aims to provide dinners for between 150 and 200 families, according to the shelter’s website.
“This makes it possible for everybody to have a Thanksgiving meal regardless of their income,” Lovishchuk said. “I think it’s really wonderful because it equalizes the playing field in the community, even if it’s just for one day.”
• Contact reporter Alex McCarthy at 523-2271 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @akmccarthy.