CLINTON TWP., NJ - William Douglin is looking forward to Thanksgiving, even though he grapples with mental illness and severe physical disabilities.
Fortunately, the 72-year-old Glen Gardner resident will be able to host a meal with his caregiver and daughter this Thanksgiving, thanks to the generosity of Chabad of Hunterdon County.
Rabbi Eli Kornfeld, his wife Rachel and volunteers will prepare and deliver a cooked turkey —along with the usual sides of stuffing, mashed potatoes, and green beans — to him and others who are homebound.
“It is heartwarming to live in a community where no one is forgotten and all members of the community have an opportunity to enjoy the holiday spirit,” said Douglin, who has received meals since the start of Chabad’s Thanksgiving program. “I am grateful to Chabad and the volunteers.”
Rabbi Kornfeld and volunteers have delivered more than 600 meals since the first year of Chabad’s Thanksgiving efforts, which also include a Thanksgiving meal hosted at Chabad for residents of Freedom House, a local residential treatment facility for men struggling with addiction issues.
Chabad’s Thanksgiving program is offered to all, regardless of religion.
“It makes no difference whether the recipients are Jewish,” the rabbi emphasized. “We want everyone to feel part of this day. If it’s meaningful for them, it’s important for an organization like ours to make sure that those who are less fortunate can be lifted up. They should be able to be lifted up in the joys of their community.”
This will be the seventh year that Chabad has delivered its Thanksgiving meals in Hunterdon.
On Sunday, more than 40 volunteers will gather at Chabad here to help prepare and organize the Thanksgiving meals. Chabad expects to host about 75 people and deliver about 40 meals this year.
“People come out in droves to get their hands dirty — to cook, to prepare, to cut, to peel, to donate — and I think that’s a big part of this,” Kornfeld said, “bringing the community together, bringing those that can offer help with those that need it.”
To request a Thanksgiving dinner for someone in need or make a contribution for the meals, contact Chabad of Hunterdon at 908-238-9002.