The Thanksgiving Day Senior Feed at Ward Villas continues to bring the community together for a thankful cause.
On Thursday, Nov. 23, Mothers in Action (MIA) and Ward Economic Development Corporation celebrated Thanksgiving with the 28th Annual Thanksgiving Day Senior Feed at Ward Villas.
“When the Lord gives you something to do, He gives you what you need to do it and Mothers In Action is thankful this Thanksgiving Day that we’re able to [meet] our goals of feeding over 1,000 senior citizens, the sick and shut-in and along with some transitional home residents, veteran families, firefighters and unhoused people this year,” said Tracy Mitchell, president of MIA.
This enduring partnership continues with the help of Jacquelyn Dupont-Walker of Ward EDC along with elected officials, law enforcement, and organizations coming together to serve Thanksgiving dinner to seniors and the sick and shut-in throughout the greater Los Angeles area.
“People want to make a difference,” said Dupont-Walker. “2023 is the year where we demonstrate how God spoke to us during the pandemic. As people have come out, you see the flavor of caring, which we had almost lost.
“It takes people coming together. We don’t want people years after being in isolation to come up with the idea that we ought to get together.
“I give thanks for the partnership with Mothers In Action to get this done for all of the seniors who otherwise might forget that somebody loves them.”
Thanksgiving at Ward Villas started with the visions of the late Brenda Marsh-Mitchell and Lillian Mobley who decided to give seniors a holiday meal back in 1995. They wanted to address the neglect of senior citizens, who are often forgotten during the holiday season.
“This event was special to our visionary, Brenda Marsh-Mitchell, because she knew that many seniors are forgotten about during the holidays and sometimes our volunteers are the only face they see that day,” said Mitchell.
“She set this event in motion 28 years ago, so Mothers In Action, Ward EDC and our village of sponsors and volunteers would be a blessing to our elders Thanksgiving Day by providing a meal and a smile.”
Pacific American Volunteer Association (PAVA) were on the assembly line, getting food together for deliveries. Representative Katherine Lee was happy to be volunteering her time.
“I’m so glad that I came, I heard it’s been going on for a very long time but for me, it’s my first time,” said Lee.
“PAVA has been helping with them for a very, long time. I love this program and I love what they’re doing here.”
“It’s a blessing to be here today helping Tracy and Mothers In Action with feeding the seniors,” said volunteer Kim Brown.
“I’ve been doing it with Tracy and with Brenda for probably 15 years. I wanted to make sure I was here to help give back, feed people in need, take care of the seniors—we love our seniors. I always will be here,” added Brown.
“I’ve been volunteering with Mothers In Action for at least the last 12 years,” said volunteer Rosalyn Pennington of The New Townhouse, Red River Enterprises and a member of Delta Sigma Theta.
“This is a very good thing; I look forward to doing this every Thanksgiving and what they do is phenomenal.
“They always have enough food and just being able to give to people who are in need and would be so grateful. This really is a day of Thanksgiving,” noted Pennington.
“Our success has only been possible because of the time, talent and resources afforded to us by our village of volunteers and sponsors who sacrifice their own Thanksgiving Day to be a blessing to others,” said Mitchell.
“For that, we are grateful.”
Every senior, veteran or sick and shut-in resident received a Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings. They also received a personalized card or placemat and a Los Angeles Sentinel newspaper.
MIA would like to thank Mothers Nutritional, their village of volunteers, members of Oscar Joel Bryant Foundation, LAPD South Traffic and Pacific American Volunteer Association (P.A.V.A.). Also, special thanks go to the elected officials who provided the turkeys from Council District 8, 9 and 10.
They also extend special thanks to media partner, Bakewell Media, who has supplied a Los Angeles Sentinel Newspaper for the last 16 years; Chef Marilyn and 27th Street Bakery for preparing the food and dessert, respectively; and youth from various schools, daycare facilities, and Girl Scout troops who made the personalized greeting cards and placemats.
Sponsors, donors and partners included Ward EDC, Danny J. Bakewell Sr, chairman of Bakewell Company and executive publisher of Los Angeles Sentinel and L.A. Watts Times, Councilmembers Marqueece Harris Dawson, Curren D. Price, Jr. and Heather Hutt, Blue Shield, Los Angeles Urban League, Brian Williams, Douglas Thomas, Jason Lombard, Kim Brown and Lawrence Carter.
“Thanksgiving means being grateful for all that we have, all that we are, and all that we can be,” said Mitchell.
“And what I choose to be is a blessing to others on Thanksgiving Day and every day that the Lord wakes us up to be a blessing to someone.”
The legacy of Brenda Marsh-Mitchell continues through her daughters Tracy, Tamela and Pamela Mitchell, and her grandsons, Kennedy Mitchell-Egbo and Mitchell Thomas.