Annual Family To Family Thanksgiving Fundraiser Underway

October 2, 2018

SCRANTON — Fundraising began in earnest today for the Friends of the Poor’s 42nd annual Thanksgiving Community Program.

Dunmore native Meghan Loftus, president and chief executive of the organization, took the podium at the Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple in the annual appeal to fund the Family to Family Program, which once again aims to serve Thanksgiving dinner to 3,000 families.

In her second year as the head of Friends of the Poor, she said the coming weeks may be difficult but the response from the community is always inspiring.

“Although it’s a tiring couple of days, it’s really worth it,” Loftus said.

The group hopes to raise more than $130,000 to cover the food order to put together 3,000 turkey dinners with all the trimmings by the end of November.

Donations of $25 from local families sustained the program. Costs have increased, though, and a donation of $30 now sponsors one family.

Linda Robeson, her son Ryan Robeson and her daughter-in-law Mary-Christine Robeson will host the program for their fourth year. They plan to give out the dinner baskets at the Scranton Cultural Center on Nov. 21 for families in need.

The Family to Family program, now in its 32nd year, is a work in progress all year but the home stretch beginning in October is when the work becomes hectic, Ryan Robeson said.

This year will be special for the Robeson as their own family expands. Mary-Christine Robeson expects to give birth to a baby girl before the end of the month. The work for Family to Family was bound to rob them of their sleep this month anyway, so they might as well add a baby to the mix too, Mary-Christine Robeson joked.

The Family to Family program will be preceded by the Thanksgiving dinner Nov. 20 and the Interfaith Prayer Service on Nov. 16, a total of three events in five days.

“We’re very ambitious,” Loftus said.

The dinner, founded by the late Sister Adrian Barrett, I.H.M. 42 years ago, will be held at 6 p.m. at the Scranton Cultural Center.

The prayer service will be held at 6 p.m. at Temple Hesed, 1 Knox Road, in Scranton.

Donations can be sent to the Family to Family Program, PO Box 13, Scranton, PA 18501. Donations can also be made online at www.familytofamilypa.org.

Contact the writer: jkohut@timesshamrock.com, 570-348-9144; @jkohutTT on Twitter

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