East Texas Non-profits make Thanksgiving a reality

TYLER (KYTX) - During this holiday season, not all families have enough to celebrate with huge dinners, but there's help on the way. CBS 19's Amanda Roberson explains how non-profits are making the holiday a reality for some.

St. Paul's Children Foundation in Tyler has served more families through their clothing and food pantry than ever before. They've already given away all the turkeys and now they have a ton of side dishes to give away to make Thanksgiving meals complete.

"Green beans, sweet potatoes, got me some spinach, some carrots, a beverage, some pancake mix, I'll make them pancakes for breakfast, and corn muffin mix so I can make the dressing." Karen Bailey of Tyler double checks her shopping list in the lobby of St. Paul's Community Center. "Someone else is supplying the meat but I didn't have anything to go with it."  

Bailey works in transportation at Tyler ISD, but said the money she brings in isn't enough to take care of herself and the five grandchildren she looks after. "I just do what I can with what I have. When you can't supply and there's help for you, it's good and it's very nice to have a place to go to that can help so that's why I'm here."  

"We want to make sure that everybody gets to have a Thanksgiving dinner with their family," explained St. Paul's Executive Director Sharlyn Cannady.

Cannady said even with donations from the food bank and community, food is still their biggest need. "The next two months will be busier than we've seen all year. Everybody pretty much is living paycheck to paycheck and not one paycheck they're needing food, they're not able to make it."  

Anyone can get help at St. Paul's and Cannady said shopping is based on a points system. "How many people live in their household, their own box, if they're a veteran, if they are on medicade, medicare, disability. Different things add up for different points."

With Bailey's 25 points, she's ready to cook for her family."I'm just thankful and blessed to be here. I think God has got me here for a reason and I'm just trying to fulfill."


The national average for a family of four Thanksgiving meal is $50. St. Paul's can take that same amount of money and feed 10 families of four.

For more information on helping St. Paul's, especially with Christmas around the corner, click here.




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