HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The rubber hit the road this Thanksgiving day. The Salvation Army and other outreach organizations delivered thousands of meals to the needy across the state. Volunteers show how giving can, sometimes, be a family affair.
Joshua Bianchin thought of a special way to give back this holiday. The fourth grader brought his favorite book to read aloud to kids at the Institute for Human Services homeless shelter in Honolulu. The children were gone by the time Joshua's family arrived, so instead, he and his little brother, Andrew, helped their parents sort food items to take to the needy.
Joshua's father, Brian Bianchin, says, "We're trying to show them that not all families have everything. And it's good to try to help and to give back to the community."
This is the first year the Bianchin family has volunteered on Thanksgiving. They joined hundreds of others in Hawaii who put their holiday on hold, so the less fortunate could enjoy the day.
Whether it's delivering food or sharing a feast with thousands of others, this is THE day of outreach. Two thousand people turned out at the Salvation Army's 40th annual Thanksgiving dinner at the Blaisdell Center. So many volunteers signed up at both this dinner and the I.H.S' food delivery program that the organizations either had to turn volunteers away or direct them to another charitable group.
Diner Consuelo Pacheco says she and her friends have nowhere else to go during this holiday and have feasted there the last 11 years. "Well, we have families, but they don't want us, so we come to Salvation Army every year - 'cause this is our family," Pacheco says.
The 60 year old could be considered less fortunate. She was once homeless and spent 10 years in jail. Her life has since turned around, and she's grateful. "That I'm alive, and I'm not behind bars. I have my freedom and my happiness," she says.
Bountiful blessings that come with an attitude of gratitude.