HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Many here in the valley are giving thanks this holiday. But there are also others using Thanksgiving as a time to help others.
“It means a lot, when you don’t have any money and we’ve been going through this pandemic,” Michelle Torres said. “It’s been hard for everybody right now, everybody.”
Torres is not shy to say that she has fallen on hard times. She moved from New Orleans to be with her family here in the valley and seeing people help people like her get a Thanksgiving meal is heartwarming. But Torres also hopes she can do the same thing in the future.
“Actually, when you see people doing good you want to do the same thing you know, it warms your heart,” Torres said.
Staff and volunteers at Loaves & Fishes of the Rio Grande Valley prepared over 200 meals for the community. Executive Director Victor Rivera said the organization is not only here to help on Thanksgiving, but all year long.
“The intent is really to serve the community to be able to provide a service and as a shelter,” Rivera said. “It is important that we let the community know that yes, we serve meals, but we also provide shelter we provide rent and utility assistance, we also have a food pantry.”
And the volunteers wanted to use the Thanksgiving holiday to give back to their community in any way possible. Volunteers like Mikayla Rodriguez, said seeing her work have an impact on so may people is not only inspiring to her, but to others as well.
“Honestly just to bring them together you know Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for something and we feel good to go and help them out and give them little things,” Rodriguez said. “Because not everyone has the advantage to sit around a table and have a big meal like others.”
But there are other volunteers like Hector Morales who once needed help himself. This Thanksgiving, Morales wanted to give back.
“Like when I used to have financial problems Loaves & Fishes help me out, they paid my rent and my light bill,” Morales said. “So, I decided you know what I don’t have something to give you all but what I can do is volunteers and help.”
And despite the difficulties people have gone through, people helping others is bringing light to many.
“There is hope out there,” said Lorena Dena, “We are here, we are proof to assist other and help others.”
Loaves and Fishes of the Rio Grande Valley provides meals to people in need all year long. If you are interested in volunteering more information can be found on their website.