Glide Foundation founding member still serving the homeless

Poet, editor and community activist Janice Mirikitani is a founding member of the Glide Foundation, a local organization that assists the homeless and impoverished. Both Mirikitani and her husband, the Rev. Cecil Williams, will be at Glide Memorial Church on Thanksgiving to help serve food to the homeless.

How long has Glide been serving Thanksgiving dinner? We’ve been doing this for about 3 1/2 decades. Along with Christmas, this is our most popular event for volunteers. We can only handle about 1,000 volunteers, and that list fills up very quickly for Thanksgiving.

What goes into the preparation work for Thanksgiving? We have hundreds of volunteers cutting up veggies, helping with the stuffing, making salads. Our chefs are cooking and preparing the turkeys for over a month. We want to make sure all the food is very tasty, because that’s what Thanksgiving is all about.

How many people are you expecting to serve this year? We usually serve about 5,000 people. But with the economy still not recovering, we expect to see a higher number this year.

Why does Thanksgiving carry such a special importance at Glide? Thanksgiving is really about home and having a place to go. We really want to make the people we serve feel accepted and needed and wanted as a member of the family. The holidays can be tough, and the people need to have a sense of spirit. And we try to provide that by reaching out to them. — Will Reisman

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