San Francisco News

Volunteers serve thousands of Thanksgiving meals at Glide in SF

Friday, November 29, 2013
Glide served thousands of Thanksgiving meals Volunteers are hard at work preparing Thanksgiving meals for at Glide Memorial Church.

Volunteers at Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco served an estimated 5,000 meals on Thanksgiving to those who had no place to go.

Richmond resident Alice Axel first volunteered for Glide over 30 years ago.

"I have no family here and I wanted to do something so I wouldn't miss my family, so I came to Glide to help them," she said.

But it's the guilt she feels about a woman she saw the first year that keeps her coming back.

She was assigned to patrol the line outside. Axel said it was a very cold day and she remembers a homeless woman who was in line.

"She didn't have on any shoes and she didn't have on a coat. I was supposed to give up my coat and I didn't, so I have to come back. I may never see her, but I'm going to give back to her," Axel said.

It takes 500 volunteers like Axel to prepare and serve the Thanksgiving meal to the needy in San Francisco's Tenderloin District.

"To give thanks, we give help to feed the homeless and we've been coming here to Glide Memorial for the last 3 years ," Sacramento resident Ramon Silvestre said.

Even after 50 years, their stories still have an impact on Reverend Cecil Williams.

"Sometimes I cry, you know when I see certain things taking place," he said.

It was a busy day at Glide Memorial Church and they definitely needed all 500 volunteers to help get all of the meals on the table. Glide officials pointed out that meals are served at Glide every day.

"We need them year round, not just on one day. So we find some help repeating coming back. And by the way, we do 10,000 volunteers every year," Williams said.

"It's a way of sharing. Thanksgiving is about giving. It's not about the turkey," Axel said.

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Tags:
glide memorial church, thanksgiving, tenderloin, food, san francisco news, amy hollyfield
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