Rain or shine, the Jewish Federation works to ensure families in need have a happy Thanksgiving.
With about 550 Thanksgiving turkeys to give away to local families in need this holiday, the Jewish Federation of Volusia and Flagler was not about to let a little rain get in the way on Tuesday, Nov. 20.
Despite a torrential downpour, the estimated 40 volunteers continued to distribute food as quickly as possible to the people standing in the rain. From canned green beans and mashed potatoes, to fresh fruits and vegetables, the Federation worked hard to ensure families had all they needed.
Executive director Gloria Max has made it a priority to help those who are struggling. She said even with the improving economy, some don't realize that there people still going hungry in this country.
“That’s why we try to help as much as we can," she said.
She worried about the effects of the rain. Some of the families the Jewish Federation helps had already called to cancel their pickup. She wrote down their numbers to be able to call them back and make different arrangements.
Max has been distributing turkeys for about 20 years. Aside from Thanksgiving, the Jewish Federation also hands them out during Easter, Christmas and major Jewish holidays. The nonprofit helps people regardless of race or religion, Max said, but they do everything they can for the small Jewish community.
And she oversees all of this while working through her own struggles — Max was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2015. The chemo puts her in a "fog," she said, but she'd still rather spend her time at the Jerry Doliner Food Bank, located at 470 Andalusia Ave.
“If I’d stayed home, I’d pity myself, and that’s not good," Max said. "When I come here, I forget about my troubles.”