By Amanda Moses
Thanksgiving is celebrated throughout the nation as a time for families and friends to reunite and show their gratitude. This holiday began as a day to give thanks for the sacrifices made for a bountiful fall harvest, and this concept still remains the same. Be thankful for what you have; whether that is the food on your table, your good health, or the people who love you.
Thanksgiving is also a season when individuals feel the urge to give back to those less fortunate, which is why many of the schools throughout the Spring Creek Towers’ community hosted food drives during the holidays. The Brooklyn Sports Club (BSC) participated in a food drive with the help of the Starrett City Girl Scouts (SCGS). From November 15th to November 24th, members were asked to drop off food items in the BSC lobby to be donated to City Harvest (New York City’s largest food rescue organization). The food drive was a huge success according to the BSC staff, who state that about 200 canned goods were collected. Some of the items brought to the BSC food drive were: canned fruit, canned vegetables and other canned items, peanut butter in plastic jars, macaroni and cheese boxes, cereal boxes, juice packs and so much more. All guests who brought in donations received a free day pass to use at the BSC.
In addition to hosting food drives, local schools held their annual Thanksgiving lunches. On November 22nd, the Starrett Early Learning Center (SELC) started their morning singing about Turkeys with their teachers, shouting “Gobble, Gobble, Gobble, Gobble,” as they wiggled their hips. After playing Thanksgiving themed games, each class worked together to prepare a dish for their annual feast: Ms. Chelsea and Ms. Audrey made potato salad, Ms. Kimora and Ms. Tiffany’s class baked cornbread, Ms. Amy’s group stirred cranberry sauce into a jam-like blend, Ms. Taji and Ms. Anne prepared fresh corn kernels, and Ms. Renae and Ms. Yvette’s class mashed potatoes.
The students gathered in one classroom and each received a plate filled with turkey, stuffing, and all of the side dishes the classes made. Some children licked their fingers and wiggled their hips in glee as they chomped on the delicious food.
On November 22nd, Frederick Douglass Academy (FDA) VIII hosted Freddy’s Feast, a Thanksgiving themed lunch that invited parents and staff to bring in food for everyone to enjoy together. Ms. Balfour, the FDA VIII staff, and members of the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) helped bring in trays upon trays of food and set them along several tables, creating a buffet line. The middle schoolers waited outside of the buffet room in anticipation, some were dancing to the Caribbean music being played from a teacher’s phone, while others laughed and joked with their friends.
Student volunteer, Jhanaga Charles, 13, wanted to spend her last year in middle school giving back to her fellow students. “We are a school that fosters community service, so I wanted to volunteer and be a role model for the sixth graders,” she said proudly. “I really like this event because the school gets together to eat and socialize,” Charles said.
On November 27th, JASA Starrett Senior Center held their annual Thanksgiving lunch. The senior center, located in the lower level of the BSC was bustling with members as they entered the cafeteria. As they were getting settled in the lunchroom, they received a surprise visit from Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, who observed the various arts and crafts programs at JASA and admired the seniors’ paintings that are hung throughout the lower level of the BSC. He wished all of the seniors a very Happy Thanksgiving and assured them that he will always have their best interest in mind when he is working in Congress. Jeffries shook hands and greeted JASA members, and even posed for a few selfies.
JASA’s staff decorated the entire lunchroom so that seniors would feel like they are in a restaurant; there were checkered cloths and flowers placed on each table. For lunch, the seniors dined on stuffing, string beans, turkey legs, cranberry sauce, and for dessert they ate apple strudel.
JASA also hosted their annual Turkey Raffle Giveaway after the lunch, thanks to donations from New York State Senator Roxanne Persaud and New York City Council Member Inez Barron. They distributed seven, 20 pound, Shady Brook turkeys to raffle winners.
Photos by Amanda Moses and courtesy of the Starrett City Girl Scouts