By Okon Ekpenyong
In partnership with Franklin County Commissioner, Erica Crawley, Rickenbacker Woods Foundation held its second annual Thanksgiving Food Basket Giveaway on Saturday, November 20, 2021.
It was first come, first serve, but registration was required. Other organizations throughout Central Ohio also participated in the Thanksgiving drive to help the community that is still recovering from the effect of the Pandemic.
More than fifty volunteers from different organizations came out to help distribute produce at the Rickenbacker Woods Foundation for the Livingston Avenue Corridor. One of those organizations was Columbus Gives Back, which partners with more than 150 charity agencies giving volunteers the opportunities to give back to the community in various forms.
Michael Aarons, the president, and Executive director of Rickenbacker Woods Foundation, spoke to the New Americans Magazine on why such an event means so much to the city.
Commissioner Erica Crawley and I got together and wanted to bless the community because we understand what hunger is all about. Last year, we started with fifty families, but because the commissioner is always so ambitious, she suggested increasing it to 100 families this year.
Based on the number of volunteers that were present and produce available, more than 100 families had a reason to smile this Thanksgiving holiday. More families called in, letting us know what was going on in their personal lives, and so we wanted to increase that number.
City of Columbus:
Columbus is my hometown, and the city is a giving back type because many of the charities’ donations to various families happen behind the scenes. As you can see, these volunteers came out on a very windy, cold, and chili day to give back without any compensation. We recognized the need in the community, and we wanted to do something as well as the volunteers by pulling together to get it done.
These types of giveaways happen more frequently in cities across the nation because there’s a need for them. In the United States, according to a study done by the University of Toronto, Columbus is the second most economically segregated city, which is another reason why such an event is necessary, and we are doing whatever we can to meet those needs.
Liberians in Columbus Inc. also held its own annual Thanksgiving Food Giveaway on Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021. Commissioner Peaches Anderson of the Greater Southeast Area Commission was in attendance. She told the New Americans Magazine that the community coming together to help is a sign of hope.
If covid has taught us anything, we must pull together as a community arm in arm. Covid not only disrupted lives physically but financially from all spectrums of the class totem pole. I had the opportunity to visit a thanksgiving food drive, which was a bit different from years past. In the long line waiting were Mercedes Benzes, Hummers, and other high-end cars. It showed me that the community at large is in need, and there is also no “look” to being in condition. I also notice that there are more thanksgiving drives available this year than last. It makes me feel that all is not lost when it comes to the community coming together to ensure that no family goes without holiday meals this season. As a commissioner for the “Greater southeast area commission,” I prepare for my family gathering this week. I can’t help but reflect on those in need and feel a sense of comfort knowing that anyone is in need this Holiday Season.
In our community, there is an organization like the Liberians Columbus Inc or Rickerback Woods Foundation waiting to open their arms wide, ready to give their food and resources. Rest assured that I’m doing my part to guide those I come across in need to the resources they seek. If you cannot physically feed the hungry or clothe the cold, arm your mind with resources in your community so that you can be a much-needed beacon of light guiding those who are need to organizations.