Every year, the YouthBuild Philadelphia staff hosts a Thanksgiving Luncheon for students and their children on the day before Thanksgiving. Community Project Coordinator Aaron Kim shares his first experience with the annual tradition:
I have to begin talking about it with the food! The staff cooks for the lunch the night before, and in the morning, one of the language arts rooms is transformed into feasting central. There’s turkey, of course. Several turkeys. And ham. Glistening, pineapple-basted hams. Then there are the casseroles, the breads, the stuffings, the mashed potatoes and gravies, the cranberry sauces, the chicken plates. Yes, everything’s in plural because that’s the only way to describe the varieties and the quantity involved. Oh, and the desserts. You can’t forget about the desserts. A couple tables are devoted just for them, set up outside in the hall. They’re there to be seen, admired, and eaten.
Now I turn to the fun. Football kicks off the fun, and it lasts a couple hours. The teams seesaw the lead back and forth, each trying to win by two touchdowns. Hence the game is intense. A dance party takes over the Science classroom, while games dominate the Social Studies classroom and AmeriC orps office. The staff conference room acts as a daycare room full of children playing, and a few napping. A dining hall with tables, feasting, and conversation transforms the Community Celebration Room. This is Thanksgiving at YouthBuild!