Three Douglas families got Thanksgiving meals from Bank of America employees, Thursday morning.
"We do it because we enjoy giving back to the community,” Bank Manager Victor Varela said.
Last year the bank employees helped Griselda Martinez a single mother of three. Martinez works at Wal-Mart but still finds it difficult to provide for the extras. They decided to help her and her kids with Thanksgiving again this year.
“I feel very thankful, I am a single parent and it’s hard for me to give my kids a Thanksgiving,” Martinez said. “It’s hard especially this time of the year.”
Rosa Maria Sodari recently had a procedure done on her legs; she suffers from diabetes. She came into the bank asking for a loan to purchase a turkey and winter clothes.
“That was brought to our attention and we decided we needed to help her,” Varela said.
I don’t have any warm clothes or shoes and sometimes I don’t have enough money to buy food. This is very nice of them, Sodari said.
Maricella Lerma whose home burnt down last winter continues to struggle financially. Lerma, a single mother of five boys, finds the holidays extremely difficult to deal with.
“This is really nice and very unexpected,” Lerma said. “But compared to last year, we are a lot better. We continue to struggling a little bit but we are slowly getting there.”
When asked about Christmas, Lerma responded “it does not look good.”
“We provide thanksgiving dinner for them and we also provide something for Christmas,” the bank manager said.
All of the funds for the Thanksgiving dinners and gifts for Christmas come from the associates. This is not a corporate sponsorship, said Varela.
“We needed to be there to actually see how the families were living. Some people think they have it bad whether it is a disease or need something but until you actually see the way these people are living,” Associate Yvonne Perez said. “We learn to appreciate what we have.”
This is the second year The Bank of America employees has given away Thanksgiving dinners.
“The intention for all of us is to continue to support the families during this time,” Varela said.