Thanksgiving? That was a while ago, but memories of the day still warm and inspire the members of LSR Class 26 who feasted and connected that day with young residents of the Tamayo House, a showcase of caring created by Social Advocates for Youth.
The LSR grads prepared three roasted turkeys and all the trimmings for about 20 teens and young adults, most of whom had nowhere to live after aging out of foster care. Class 26 alum J Mullineaux said, “The kids are almost in disbelief; ‘Why would anyone want to come in and do this for me?” This was the second Thanksgiving of service for members of Class 26, who also came together as new graduates of LSR and donated a used van to Catholic Charities.
As they did in 2011, participating members of the class signed up to prepare dishes and bring them to the 25-bed residence dedicated to the memory of Mary and Jose Tamayo, late parents of community pillars Willie, Carlos and Mike Tamayo of La Tortilla Factory. Several alumni unable to take part in the meal made sumptuous contributions to it even so.
Class members also spared no effort in decorating the dining area of the SAY residence on Santa Rosa’s Yulupa Avenue. There were colorful tablecloths, candles, autumn leaves – by numerous accounts, the effect was festive and inviting and warm and glorious. The LSR folks made clear to the residents of Tamayo House that they were under no pressure to join in the communal meal, that they were free to take plates to their rooms if they preferred. But most came out to visit and laugh – and eat! “By the end of the night we were sitting down having dinner together,” J said. “It was important for them, and for us.” The Thanksgiving dinner allows the LSR alums to meet and enjoy the company of young people too often accustomed to being invisible on the streets.
When the dreamy desserts had been served and the dishes cleaned, the Class 26 graduates thanked the young residents of Tamayo House for the honor of sharing Thanksgiving with them. They left behind some new friends – and the most splendid assortment of leftovers.
See photo album here.