Another Thanksgiving Day has come and gone. Food was cooked and shared with family and friends. Thank you prayers were uttered for all the blessings received during the year. For a group of Nogales Rotarians, and their families, the day began at 7 am at Villa’s Market on Grand Avenue. Once at the store, they were met by employees who were smiling with delight, as they all knew that 26 families in the Nogales School District would be receiving a complete Thanksgiving meal cooked with love by Villa Store employees; Sergio Villa, Martin Vargas, and Octavio Valenzuela. These three kind souls spent two days cooking turkeys and getting the baskets ready for delivery Thanksgiving morning.
Mr. Villa said that the Market helps many organizations throughout the year to provide food for the hungry. And like a lot of other merchants, he wished he could help more and that at the same time, wished times were better so there would be less need in his community. The turkeys were cooked to perfection, the mashed potatoes were light and fluffy, the vegetables, rolls, and the pumpkin pie all looked happy to be in the company. A large sack of dry goods was included, along with lots of bread, and bottled drinks.
Mr. Villa reminded all to tell the families to preheat the oven to 350 degrees and put the turkey in for 30 minutes to reheat before eating. Store employees eyes were filled with joy as they watched the baskets go into cars for delivery to the families. After cars were loaded, Rotarians drove off with the bundles and their Smart Phones in hand to get directions to deliver the meals. Some of them visited parts of town they had never been to, seeing a much different Nogales then they were used to. All of them found joyful people, gathered lots of hugs, and received heartfelt thanks from the people whose day was made measurably better through the kindness of others. Who benefitted the most – ask any Rotarian and each will say that they did.
Participants included Villa store employees, Roy Bermudez, Rudy Pina, Jennifer St. John, Jorge Leon, Joe Agosttini, Ed Suckley, Nohe Garcia and family, Gene Waken and family, Luisa Reimann, Mike Scott, Diane Scott, Arthur Espinoza, Alfredo Velasquez, and the employees in Santa Cruz County School Superintendent’s office.