Braving the cold morning temperatures, the old and young, representing different races and religions, waited for a chance to get their hands on a free turkey along with the trimmings.
Just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday, a line filled with needy families stretched around St. Lucy’s Parish Thursday morning here in Newark, N.J.
“This is a tradition that started in the early 1950’s as far as I can remember,” said church coordinator Alan Genuario. “No one walks away empty handed.”
The traditional turkey give away, this year, was made possible thanks to UNICO, the nation’s oldest Italian American organization.
A caravan of more than a dozen pick-up trucks, minivans and cars of UNICO members delivered the birds late Tuesday evening.
The UNICO Cedar Grove chapter provided 514 turkeys to the local church. That’s up from 300 turkeys they provided last year
“That’s a wonderful number thanks to the goodwill of UNICO,” said Father Luigi Zanotto.
The volunteers included local members and teenagers who pitched in with the collecting, transporting and packing activities.
“They are certainly living up to our motto of Service Above Self,” said Orsini.
Organizers told News 4 all of the people standing in line walked away with a turkey.
“It’s a lot of fun doing it,” said Genuario. “You really get a chance to know the people."
“Many of the problems in the world are a result of not sharing,” said Father Zanotto. “The purpose of Thanksgiving is to share and give thanks.”
More than 150 turkeys are expected to be hand delivered in the surrounding community Wednesday night.
“The doors to our Parish are always open to everyone,” said Genuario