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Continuing an annual holiday tradition, the Chicago Heights Police Department and Mayor David Gonzalez volunteered with a south suburban food pantry to purchase and deliver Thanksgiving meals to local families in need.
For eight years, the police department and Gonzalez have partnered with the South Chicago Heights-based Alicia's House to buy and deliver Thanksgiving meal packages, which include turkeys and all the dinner fixings, to families-in-need in Chicago Heights.
Alicia House's held this year's annual Thanksgiving meal outreach on November 17, at which Gonzalez and 23 off-duty, CHPD officers attended to celebrate with the organization's founders, Juan and Stella Hernandez of Beecher, and then headed out to deliver the meal packages.
"The opportunity to volunteer for the annual delivery of Alicia House Thanksgiving dinners for local residents illustrates the true spirit of the holiday, good will to all, especially those less fortunate," said Gonzalez. "The gratitude and smiles from mothers, fathers, and children who receive the holiday packages are the most heart-warming gifts that one can receive."
For Christmas, Gonzalez and CHPD officers will again volunteer with Alicia's House to provide and deliver holiday meals. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, 150 families receive the holiday packages.
Alicia's House was founded in 2001. The Hernandez's assumed operation of the food pantry shortly after their granddaughter, Alicia Hernandez, 4, died in a home accident. They dedicated the revamped non-profit food pantry to her memory.
The pantry serves low-income the residents of Crete, Beecher, Steger, Monee, Peotone, University Park and South Chicago Heights.
Donations to Alicia's House can be made here: http://www.aliciashouse.org