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No shortage of helping hands at Rotarys annual Thanksgiving meal
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LATHROP – The Lathrop Morning Rotarians found themselves in a unique position Thursday morning.

While gearing up to serve a Thanksgiving meal for the seniors, the homeless and the less fortunate in the community, an abundance of volunteers suddenly flooded the Lathrop Senior Center to offer their services wherever it was needed.

In the eyes of Rotary President Cary Keaten, it was a testament to the kindhearted nature of the people in Lathrop and their willingness to help those on a day reserved for reflection and gratitude.

“These are people who care and want to give back and help any way that they can,” Keaten said. “Some of them are families that came down here and wanted to volunteer and they’ve been helping all morning.

“We’ve had about 100 volunteers and we’ve served about 100 people, and it’s pretty amazing that so many people want to spend their time on this day giving back. I think that says a lot about the community and the people in it.”

When Angelo Ferrando caught wind that there might be a chance to help serve the less fortunate in the community, he talked his wife Samantha into taking their two children – Janita and Joseph – down to the Senior Center for a volunteer outing.

Not only did they sacrifice the first half of their own Thanksgiving to help others, but they also shifted how they were to going to celebrate their 11th wedding anniversary – which fell on Thanksgiving Day.

“It’s a chance to teach our kids a little bit about being grateful. It’s a nice family experience,” Ferrando said while filling plates with turkey before they went out to people in the community. “I love being able to help people in the community, and it’s great to see them come out and enjoy a holiday meal. That’s what this is all about.”

It was perfect for Ken Serra, a single senior who didn’t see much use in cooking an entire Thanksgiving dinner for only himself.

After finding out about the event at the senior center from colleagues at his job, Serra made sure that he could squeeze in a chance to sit down and eat before heading in to work.

“It’s nice to have something like this and see so many people who are willing to come down here and work on Thanksgiving to make this what it is,” he said. “I like that this is a close-knit community. I came here a year ago from the Bay Area, and I love that there are things like this here.”