Ohio – Between COVID, isolation and financial insecurity, Thanksgiving could be a very difficult time for many families.
Megan Gallagher is stacking and organizing pounds and pounds of food in a time when it’s desperately needed.
“You know, it’s just been really difficult to see people struggle. Everyone from individuals, organizations, businesses, have taken a hit in the midst of this time with COVID,” said Gallagher.
The executive director of the Cleveland Hope Exchange continues to move items around, saying the organization has been feeding families month after month.
“And there’s just been so many people affected in the midst of COVID, we wanted to make sure that no one had to go without having dinner on the table.”
That includes Thanksgiving time, where the Hope Exchange will hand out the full ingredients for a turkey dinner to families across the Cleveland area.
Gallagher gets a helping hand from Lisbeth Rodriguez, one of the volunteers stepping up to help.
“I think it’s an opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus in the necessary neighborhoods that need it. We realize how blessed we are to be able to still have our jobs and be able to provide in our home. So we felt good to be able to donate to the cause.”
“I know you guys are coming out and we’re just super thankful for your family for donating. I can’t wait to see the faces of the individuals that are going to be coming through our drive-thru,” Gallagher tells some volunteers over the phone. “Their faces, we’ve seen it every month that we’ve done a Hope day and it really just makes all the difference in their lives and the smiles that they have and the things that they give.”
Gallagher says she’s happy to be in a position where she can make a difference.
“Leaving my corporate job was the best thing I ever did because I was able to take my passions and make it my full-time job. I loved what I did, but taking a leap into, you know, the nonprofit world, was definitely the best place to be.”
If you are interested in donating a Thanksgiving meal for a family through the organization, the cost of adopting a family is $50. For more information, visit www.hopeforcle.com.