On Thursday, November 22, Mothers In Action (MIA) and Ward EDC held their 23rd Annual Thanksgiving Day Senior Feed at Ward Villas. For the last 22 years, the ongoing partnership with Jacquelyn Dupont-Walker of Ward Villas Senior Complex has brought together elected officials, celebrities, law enforcement, and organizations to serve Thanksgiving dinner to seniors and the sick and shut-in through the greater Los Angeles area. This year was no different as volunteers moved into action assembling turkey dinners to-go and for seniors at Ward Villas.
“We could not have done it without the generosity of the host of volunteers, community partners, sponsors and donors that gave their time, talent and treasure to make a difference in the lives of the seniors, sick and shut-in residents that benefitted from this highly anticipated event,” said Tracy Mitchell, president of MIA.
Over 1,000 meals were distributed with 200 meals served at Ward Villas and over 800 meals delivered. “This is just one of the ways that the legacy of our visionary and late founding president of MIA, Brenda Marsh -Mitchell lives on” said Mitchell. Thanksgiving at Ward Villas was started by the late Marsh Mitchell and Lillian Mobley in 1995 to give seniors a holiday meal, who are surprisingly forgotten or neglected during the holiday season.
Volunteers ecstatically came from all walks of life to provide a day of love, laughter and meals for those waiting to receive it. Some of the volunteers included: Bank of America, the city of Los Angeles, Orkin, First AME, Ward AME, Holman UMC, Partners In Care’s MSSP Program, The Bakewell Companies, Delta Sigma Theta, Kappa Alpha Psi, Omega Psi Phi, Girl Scout Troop 1565, Oscar Joel Bryant Foundation, LAPD South Traffic, Chase Bank, Calhoun Roofing, Howard & Associates, Mothers In Action membership, LAUSD, Inglewood School District, L.A. County, Marcus Garvey School and other volunteers.
“Families, friends and co-workers came together to serve and deliver meals to the seniors, sick and shut- in,” said Mitchell. “Some of the guests were 91 & 92-years old and they were smiling from ear-to-ear soaking up the hospitality they so much deserved.”
Elected officials and clergy came out to lend a hand at Ward Villas including: Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, School Board member of District#1, Dr. George McKenna, III, Inglewood School Board member Carliss McGhee, Oliver Buie, Minister of Community Engagement at Holman United Methodist Church, Pastor Kelvin Sauls and Laphonza Butler, president of SEIU 2015 with her family all chipped to make this day happen.
“Happy to serve and support,” said Ridley-Thomas. “Who deserves more from us than senior citizens? “Much respect for Mothers In Action and all the sponsors and helpers.”
One volunteer, La Verne Gittens, wrote “Dear Tracy, volunteering at Thanksgiving Day Senior Feed yesterday was a thrill for me.
“Your army of volunteers were living angels, masterfully organized and supervised. The food was superb and I believe the seniors and their families were delighted. The venue was gorgeous and the entertainment was a joy. The only things missing were two ‘SS’s’ (not one) on your t-shirt for ‘Super Sister.’
“Los Angeles is lucky to have you. Thank you for making it possible for me to contribute a bit of myself. Happiness in the coming holidays and blessings to you and your organization.”
“We have received a number of phone calls, reports and emails confirming that many recipients were overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and service they received from Mothers In Action and our many volunteers,” said Mitchell.
“Some of them were brought to tears that someone would show so much kindness on their Thanksgiving holiday.”
Each recipient received a hot meal with all the trimmings in a recyclable bag, a Thanksgiving card and a special letter letting them know who sponsored the meal.
Thanks to our media partner, Bakewell Media, everyone who received a meal has received a Los Angeles Sentinel Newspaper for the last 14 years. Chef Marilyn’s catering received raving reviews from all who were fortunate enough to receive a meal.
Sponsors, donors and partners include: Danny J. Bakewell Sr, Chairman of Bakewell Company & Executive Publisher of Los Angeles Sentinel and LA Watts Times, Councilmember Marqueece Harris Dawson, Council President Herb Wesson, Bakewell Media, Holman, Hyundai, Jackson Limousine, Los Angeles Sentinel, LA Watts Times, Oscar Joel Bryant Foundation, Pepsi, Yvonne Wheeler, The Starving Actor, The Hutt Group, and 7Eleven just to name a few.