Joanne Lewis founded the Human Needs Committee at about eight years ago.
“[I just have a] passion for the people and their needs – to be fed and loved,” she explains.
The committee has been serving lunch to the homeless and hungry at on Magnolia and Tujunga ever since, first twice a month and now once, on every second Sunday, rain or shine. And on Thanksgiving week, an extra date is added on the Saturday before the holiday.
“Because if you talk to the guys here they all say that Thanksgiving is the one time of year when they have more food than they know what to do with,” says Deborah Luster who now heads the Human Needs Committee. “Everybody gets very generous on Thanksgiving and brings their turkey dinners, so we always do it the Saturday before.”
About 60 people turned out for a full course feast bought and prepared by generous church members. Luster also brought a selection of clothing, including sox and gloves she picks up at the 99 Cents Only store every month.
I have to admit, I had trouble telling the guests from the volunteers in many cases.
Lewis, with tears in her eyes, said, “There’s such a fine line between being where they are and being where I am.” She told me on the video about her struggle to find work since completing a medical course.
Despite or because of their life situations, everyone I met was glad to tell me what they are thankful for. Please watch the video and make the acquaintance of some neighbors you didn’t know you had.
Committee volunteers will serve Christmas dinner in the park on December’s second Sunday, Dec. 11.