Like lots of people around the country, Freda Floyd of Morristown has had a rough year. She lost her job, and is approaching this Thanksgiving “kind of stressed, just trying to maintain.”
So Monday’s turkey giveaway at the Morristown Neighborhood House was a welcome event.
“This will be a blessing,” said Freda, holding a frozen turkey in one hand and a bag of fixings in the other. The blessing was courtesy of GE Aviation of Whippany and CoreMedia Systems Inc. of Fairfield.
Together, the two companies donated 300 turkeys and trimmings for needy families who signed up at the Neighborhood House.
For GE Aviation, which makes avionics devices for commercial and military aircraft, this marked its second straight Thanksgiving drive at the Nabe.
“GE is strongly committed to volunteerism,” said Anne Novak, human resources manager for GE Aviation. “We started looking around the neighborhood to see where we can make a difference.”
Three young GE employees were among the volunteers, Anne said, “because we think it’s important for [future] GE leaders to understand the importance of giving back to the community.”
CoreMedia, a software company, was approached by its human resources contractor, Insperity, which has a Morristown office.
“They asked if we’d like to help the Morristown Neighborhood House. It’s easy to say yes,” said CoreMedia President Jim Paull. “Look at what residents of New Jersey have been through [with severe back-to-back storms]. You can see the importance of staying local.”
This was CoreMedia’s first holiday helping the Nabe; all 32 company employees had a hand in the project, Jim said. Everyone appeared to enjoy handing out turkeys all afternoon.
“Just the look on people’s faces makes it all worthwhile,” Jim said.
The need is greater than last year, said Steve Neblett, assistant executive director of the Neighborhood House, a nonprofit that has assisted immigrants and low-income families for more than a century. It has programs in Morristown, Morris Township, Dover, Randolph and Denville. Clients from those towns were eligible for the food.
“Last year, people I approached said, ‘No, Mr. Neblett, give [the turkey] to the people who need it more,'” Steve said. “This year, they need it.”
Many residents of nearby Manahan Village lost their Thanksgiving turkeys to spoilage when power cut out after last month’s freak snowstorm, he said.
One of Monday’s grateful recipients made a point to inquire where she could send a thank you.
“It’s nice for them to do this,” said Hazel Walker, a retiree who will feed 12 Thanksgiving guests with the food she received at the Nabe. “God still is good.”