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V.I. Charities Hoping to Make Holidays Special for All

Nov. 21, 2006 Tis the season to be thankful, and across the island members of charity groups, churches and other nonprofit organizations will be rolling up their sleeves to ensure that some forgotten Virgin Islanders have reasons to be merry.
Some, like My Brothers Table in Frederiksted, will bring Thanksgiving to roughly 60 people in the area beginning at 11:30 a.m. Thursday.
Hyacinth George and Rosemary Carty have worked at the agency for some six years, serving meals to about 45 people during the week.
Thanksgiving is always extra special, George said.
The number of people we serve go up to over 60 that day, she said. People are happy, grateful that were doing this.
On Tuesday, George was busy baking several hams ahead of time to make things easier for she and Carty, the agencys only cooks.
All of the food, she said, was donated by Rotary West of St. Croix.
I get more excited cooking around this time, but its a lot of work. Thats why Im cooking the hams today, she said.
George planned to start baking the turkeys on Wednesday and said she would be up early enough on Thursday to bake the macaroni and cheese and stuffing in time to be served.
On St. Thomas, Catholic Charities Soup Kitchen plans to serve meals at Bethlehem House on Hospital Street beginning at noon Thursday until 3 p.m. The menu includes turkey, ham, stuffing, coleslaw, cranberry sauce, drinks and desserts.
Like others that help feed the homeless, George and Carty say they'll be at it again come Christmas.
I was just telling Rosie we dont know where we would be if people didnt donate, George said.
She said that cooks have come and gone at the shelter but that she and Carty have stayed the longest because they love the work they do and we give them respect.
For example, she said, the shelter takes into consideration that some of those who show up are vegetarians.
We know their likes and dislikes, so we prepare fish, she said. I wouldnt want anyone to serve me something I cant eat.
George said that on Thursday, in addition to turkey and ham, plates will be heaped with vegetables, West Indian potato stuffing with raisins, macaroni and cheese, and peas and rice. Fruit punch and an array of desserts, including carrot cake and pumpkin pie, will complete the menu.
George said its a labor of love. We get paid, she said of her work as a cook, but knowing that if we were not here to do it for them, they may not eat. So no matter what, we try to make it our business to make sure they have Thanksgiving like everybody else.
Here is a schedule of charitable organizations serving during the Thanksgiving Day holiday:
Thanksgiving Day
10 a.m. – On St. Thomas – All Saints Episcopal Church will serve lunch at its Garden Street location. There will also be a service.
10 a.m. – On St. Thomas – St. Andrew's Episcopal Church to serve lunch at the church. There will also be a service.
11 a.m. – On St. Thomas – Francine Penn-Scipio to serve holiday luncheon in Emancipation Garden.
11 a.m. – On St. Thomas – Caribe Tradewinds Lodge No. 589 and Pearls of the Virgin Islands, OES Chapter No. 585, Remember the Times Radio Show and Ulla Muller Parent-Teacher Association will be serving at the school.
Noon – On St. Thomas – Salvation Army to serve lunch at its Market Square location.
Noon – On St. Thomas – Catholic Charities Soup Kitchen to serve lunch at Bethlehem House shelter in Hospital Ground.
2 p.m. – On St. Thomas – Frederick Evangelical Lutheran Church to serve late lunch at the church.
Saturday
Noon – On St. Thomas – Impacting Your World Christian Ministries to serve luncheon for seniors at Ebenezer Gardens.
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