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Thanksgiving isn’t until tomorrow, but nearly 100 South Jersey teens have already been serving hundreds of traditional holiday meals to local families.

The teens hail from 25 schools in three counties and are members of SamariTeens, a group of young volunteers with Samaritan Healthcare & Hospice. For 14 years, the SamariTeens group has been providing a happier Thanksgiving by allowing families to enjoy their time together without worrying about preparing a traditional holiday meal.

Last week, the teen volunteers plated 520 meals of turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, succotash and gravy. It’s one of several steps in Samaritan’s annual Giving Thanks, Preserving Memories program.

Leading up to meal prep, Samaritan found families who would welcome the baskets and donors who would contribute to the cost. Volunteers created table runners and festive decorations. Finally, on Saturday, volunteer drivers delivered the complete baskets to 132 families in Samaritan’s service area.

“These baskets are not based upon economic need,” explains Director of Volunteer Services Sally Cezo. “But rather on the desire to let our families know we’re thinking of them.”

 

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