To the editor:
This year marked the 29th in a row that Toll Gate Grammar School coordinated a community effort to provide the Thanksgiving meal served at the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK).
Each year we give thanks for the parents who began the tradition so many years ago. They had great foresight in setting up a system that has been sustainable, and, more importantly, in making serving others a priority in our school where the children participate in a hands-on way while meeting a practical and tangible need in the community.
We are so grateful for the generous donations of time, effort and supplies from our community — people we know about and then even those we don’t. One local family, whose children have now graduated college, come together to cook a turkey each year for TASK — almost a 20-year tradition. That kind of generosity and thoughtfulness is a reminder to each of us who are so involved now to continue to find ways to participate in this Thanksgiving tradition in the future.
Our sincere thanks goes to these who have made contributions this year:
Toll Gate students and families for donating 50 bottles of juice, 300 boxes of stuffing, 380 cans of green beans and 360 cans of gravy and the ingredients for 288 pies.
The pie team for coordinating and working to help 290 students and many community volunteers bake 288 sweet potato pies.
Leslie Rheinhardt for tracking all of the donated turkeys and ensuring each one had someone to roast it.
Harry Barnes for running the carvathon and coordinating the carving of 80 turkeys.
The realtors of Gloria Nilson, Callaway Henderson Sothebys and Weidel. Together they provide about half of our donated turkeys.
Local Cub Scouts and the Berman Family for decorating bags for the bagged lunches and sorting the candy from the candy drive.
Timberlane Middle School for collecting and packaging 600 lunches for TASK recipients.
The Toll Gate parents, students and alumni who worked to carve, package and load all of the turkeys, cornbread and cranberry sauce for delivery.
Hopewell Valley Girl Scouts and troop leaders who make cornbread to serve 700 and delivered it Toll Gate.
Pennington Presbyterian Nursery School, St. Matthew’s Little Leisure and Painted Oak Preschools for making delicious, fresh cranberry sauce.
Jim and Emily Matticoli of Emily’s Café on Main St for ordering at cost and helping to subsidize a portion of the fresh ingredients needed for the pies.
Charlie and Sharon Yeh, of Viva Gelato and Sumo Sushi, who offer the use of their refrigerated van for storing and transporting the turkey dinner and for helping to unload and deliver each year.
Andrea Fereshteh for telling the story of this event through local media.
Dean Jablonski and family for counting the hundreds of cans and supplies sent in and making sure we had everything needed.
David Hallgren for creatively teaching the children the importance of giving and why we serve in this project.
Toll Gate teachers and staff for supporting and educating our students about this amazing initiative.
Everyone who roasted a turkey, mixed ingredients for pies, sent in money to help with supplies, added the requested items to your own grocery list and sent them in. The list of names would fill this paper!
May the spirit of gratitude remain with us as we enter the holiday season.
“It is not joy that makes us grateful – it is gratitude that makes us joyful!”
TASK Thanksgiving Project
To the editor: