While most people spent the Saturday before Thanksgiving packing for a road trip or grocery shopping for the big meal, a group of Pantexans spent the day lending a hand in the Amarillo community. For the eighth year in a row, they teamed up with the Hilltop Senior Citizen Association to offer a holiday meal to homeless and low-income families.
Pantexans Lisa Fajardo, left, and Amber Burnam serve drinks during the Hilltop Thanksgiving lunch.
“I really enjoyed the chance to give back to the community and meet new people,” said Amber Burnam, a business services analyst in Ethics and Employee concerns.”
Nearly 500 HSCA guests enjoyed the traditional Thanksgiving feast sponsored by CNS. Volunteers also delivered meals to about 40 homebound seniors.
Pantex volunteers, including some family members, were joined by the Potter County Deputy Sheriff Association and a host of other community volunteers.
Human Resources Business Partner Clarissa Baker said, “My mother and I volunteered and had an awesome time. It was fun working with coworkers in a totally different setting and making new friends. Both of us were very blessed to have been able to participate.”
Since 1974, the Hilltop Senior Citizen Association has offered entertainment, educational opportunities, and outings to seniors primarily in the north Amarillo area. Clara Westmoreland, executive director, stressed the importance of the holiday meal to many of their senior members on fixed incomes and low-income families living near the center.
“For some, this is the only Thanksgiving meal they will have,” said Westmoreland.
She said the need is so great in the neighborhood that HSCA volunteers have begun serving hot meals for the neighborhood children, as part of the High Plains Food Bank’s KidsCafe program.
All of the Pantex volunteers, from the servers to dishwashers, expressed their gratitude for the opportunity to serve and their desires to return again.
Burnam said, “Everyone was so appreciative and it was a great experience. I look forward to doing it again next year.”