, Salem, MA

Local News

November 27, 2013

Salem charity donates Thanksgiving dinner to 117 families


“We’re the laborers,” Tom McKinnon said after helping load his truck. “I need a chiropractor. ... I’m getting old.”

The charity also donates boxes of food to local pantries.

Some of the youngest volunteers came from Melissa St. Pierre’s advanced health class at Salem High. They got yesterday off to work on this school project.

“I’d be in English class right now,” said a smiling Hayley Gaynor, 16, who was part of the driveway work crew. “I’m all good.”

Salem High also held a canned food drive and donated pies baked by a culinary arts class.

Many friends reach out to contacts for food, donations and gift certificates, anything that will help the cause. During the year, McKinnon and her friends organize fun charity events, like an annual bowling outing and horseshoe tournament, to raise funds for this and other causes.

“This year was a big group effort,” she said.

But it’s worth it, she said, because Thanksgiving is special.

“Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday,” she said. “It doesn’t have to do with money and it’s not about giving gifts. To me, it’s family time.”

Tom Dalton can be reached at

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