Community Thanksgiving Dinner

UPDATE FOR 2020:

DUE TO COVID-19, THIS YEAR'S ANNUAL DINNER WILL BE DELIVERY ONLY. PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION.

Every year on Thanksgiving Day at 1:00pm United Parish in Brookline hosts a full sit-down Thanksgiving meal for up to 200 people.  The meal and service are all provided by volunteers in the church and in the community, and some food local organizations.  The meal is offered free of charge. 

The church office does ask for an RSVP to give those who work tirelessly on this project sufficient information about the number of people to expect for the meal.  The church office is receiving RSVP's now.  You can call 617-277-6860 x7 or email thanksgiving@upbrookline.org to RSVP or volunteer to help out that day.

Latest Community Thanksgiving Dinner News

Thanksgiving Meal A Big Success!
Posted: Dec 4 2020 - 4:42pm

Dear Volunteers and Congregation:
I cannot thank you enough for your overwhelming support in making this Thanksgiving dinner possible. With your help, we delivered almost 400 meals to those in need or who were without family to celebrate with this year.

I am happy to report that we had minimal hiccups in this very ambitious endeavor and I could not be more proud of this team of dedicated volunteers. I am so proud of the team for successfully cooking almost 400 meals and delivering them to almost 200 households across the city. This was no easy feat and I would say we pulled it off with flying colors. Your hard work and dedication did not go unnoticed. You stayed calm and collected during a hectic and stressful day and I am truly impressed. Thank you for enabling us to continue our Thanksgiving dinner tradition even in its new form. 

We received some very heartfelt messages from meal recipients who were so touched by the lengths we went to fill their stomachs with a warm meal on what may have otherwise been a lonely day for them. Thank you for helping us continue our tradition of a community Thanksgiving dinner.
                                                                                -- Arielle Chernin, coordinator

Some quotes from meal recipients:

  • "On a grey drizzly day you brought food and caring to a fellow human without family on Thanksgiving. Kudos. Gratitude to you and to all who made this gift possible!"

  • "Thank you so much for your kindness, generosity and for truly going the extra mile. Thanks for reminding me of the goodness in the world."

  • "I would like to extend a heartwarming thank you to all involved in making our Thanksgiving special. It is an amazing feeling knowing you are important to someone."

  • Thank you so much for the delicious meal. It meant so much to me in a year when I am separated from friends and family. Just knowing you are out there helped so much.

  • "It really brightened up my usual dull and dreary day."

  • "A simple thank you isn't enough to tell you how appreciative I am to be given a fresh meal prepared by people with open hearts and sincere generosity during this time when we are unable to spend time with family and friends in our homes, in their homes and in church."

  • "Thanks to all of you for the great dinner. Best turkey I have ever tasted."

  • "Thank you so much for your help. It meant so much especially since I am isolating because of COVID-19. My little granddaughters, 6 and 9, sent their charity money to United Parish because of this."
  • "Dearest UP of Brookline, Many things your parish does throughout the year are inspirational from the Strawberry Festival to this most delicious Thanksgiving meal. I savored every bite!!"

  • "Dear friends, Just a few words of gratitude for making my thanksgiving festive and memorable. A lot of work went into your day - the pretty white bag, the prayer, the recipe, the colored pictures by the children - and, the meal itself which was delicious. Thank you for all of it!"

  • "Thank you for feeding me on Thanksgiving Day. It was the food, yes; but also I really needed to know that a heart out there somewhere was beating in sympathy for my own."

Thanks to the generosity of the congregation and community, we raised over $5,400 to fund this meal. The United Parish Missions Giving Team has offered to match all donations!

We were also on TV and in the newspaper!

  • NBC Boston Channel 10 "Brookline Church Delivers Thanksgiving Meals to Those in Need" 11/26/20

  • Brookline TAB "Snapshots of Thanksgiving in a vastly different holiday season" 11/24/20, featuring Arielle Chernin, Kent French and Prabhu Devavaram.

Normally, our Brookline Interfaith Clergy lead us all in a shared Thanksgiving worship. This year, they have provided a 17 minute video of “Gratitude as an Act of Resilience and Resistance,” featuring local rabbis, pastors, the Executive Director of the Brookline Food Pantry, and our own pastor, Kent French, who serves as lead convener of this group.

Thanksgiving Dinner 2020
Posted: Oct 21 2020 - 4:45pm

This year, our annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner will be different. Preassembled meals will be available for delivery only on Thursday, November 26 to the Greater Boston Area. Meals will be cooked and prepared by volunteers at United Parish. Special thanks to the Brookline Food Pantry for their collaboration.

SIGN UP FOR A MEAL

UPDATE 11/23/20: Registration for meal delivery has closed. We are not accepting any more RSVPs. We wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!

DONATE - WE'VE MET OUR GOAL!

UPDATE 11/13/20: Thanks to the generosity of our community, we have surpassed our fundraising goal for this year's Thanksgiving dinner. A huge THANK YOU for your support!

VOLUNTEER - WE'VE MET OUR GOAL!

UPDATE 11/18/20: We have enough volunteers; thank you to those who already signed up.

 

For questions or more information, please contact thanksgiving@upbrookline.org or 617-277-6860 x7.

Community Thanksgiving Dinner 2020
Posted: Oct 13 2020 - 2:32pm

For the past 35 years, The United Parish has been serving a Thanksgiving dinner in Willett Hall open to all. While some folks come because they do not have a place to go, and some come because they do not have friends or family nearby with whom to celebrate, everyone who joins our annual celebration comes to share a home cooked meal with others in a warm and welcoming space on Thanksgiving Day. Over the years, this United Parish tradition has come to include hundreds of volunteers and dozens of local companies and organizations that donate food. Most importantly, it has come to include all the individuals who come year after year from within and beyond our community to eat, share in fellowship and give thanks together. Last year, we had our busiest dinner yet, serving over 220 people and growing our community bigger and stronger. We were even featured on the local TV news!

This year, as we have come to understand all too well, we can’t do most things as we normally have. Our favorite activities, traditions, and plans are being rescheduled, canceled or modified and we are all doing our best to stay positive, flexible, and optimistic, especially at The United Parish. What remains unchanged though, is God’s love, our commitment to spread that love, and the strength of our beloved faith community.

So this year, we will still continue our Thanksgiving tradition, just in a different way. Our Thanksgiving dinner will be delivery this year. We will have turkey dinners available for delivery on Thursday, November 26th to anyone interested. Click here to reserve your meal. If we can’t bring the Thanksgiving community into United parish this year, we will send a little bit of United parish out into the community along with our love and holy spirit.

It certainly won’t be the same, but we are working hard to make sure it is special, meaningful, and delicious. And in order to do so, we need some help. Help will also look different than it has in the past. We are asking, this year, for monetary donations instead of food donations in an effort to streamline and adhere to new protocols. We will be purchasing all of the food needed in bulk to help with ease of cooking and distributing, and to limit the number of hands on product.

We know the joy that shopping and donating food for this meal brings many of you, but we hope that given the circumstances, you may channel that joy towards a monetary donation as your contribution. A donation of $20 can fund three and a half Thanksgiving meals. Every little bit counts and a donation of any amount will be met with grateful hearts. Our Missions Giving Team will do a 1:1 match for any donations that come in, so your contribution will have twice the impact!

While we won’t be able to have many volunteers in the church with us as we prepare these meals Thanksgiving week, we will be looking for volunteers to deliver meals on Thanksgiving day. Sign up here. We are also looking for volunteers to make greeting cards and goodie bags to go with each meal. We have our thinking caps on for ways to make this meal personal, heartwarming, and welcoming. If you have ideas, suggestions, or questions about how you can get involved, we would love to hear from you. Please email us at thanksgiving@upbrookline.org.

This Thanksgiving, our community will still grow and strengthen. We have a foundation filled with faith, love, and spirit and we continue to spread that, no matter what is happening in the world around us.