Equinox's 49th Annual Thanksgiving dinner preparations

November 22, 2018 04:21 PM

ALBANY - For a 49th year, Equinox is taking what nearly 300 businesses have donated and relying on the kindness of 3,600 volunteers to get Thanksgiving dinner ready.

— Karen Tararache (@KarenTararache) November 21, 2018

"You have to experience it firsthand to understand how meaningful it is to the volunteers and to all of us and the meal recipients as well," Christina Rajotte said.

Congressman Paul Tonko has volunteered for 36 years and appreciates the compassion people have for one another. 

"You might carve with someone one year and then next year you ask where the rest of the family is and you hear a heartache story," Tonko said.

This year, he's on carving duty and says the only downfall is:

"When you go home for Thanksgiving dinner, they all look at you and say you know how to do this -- so you have to do the carving while everybody watches the football game," Tonko laughed.

And while they're learning fun facts about who produces the most cranberries,

"Everyone thinks Massachusetts, but it's actually Wisconsin and they produce half of the cranberries in the world," one volunteer said.

Not every job here is as glamorous as mashing potatoes. There are also volunteers like Marissa Hochberg, she's tasked with changing trash bins and composting, making rounds every five minutes or so.

"Each and every one of us has so many blessings to offer. I think that even if you donate 20 minutes or an hour or if you wanna do one small thing, it really makes a difference in the grand scheme of things," Hochberg said.

This dinner may not be in the Equinox mission statement, but it's a community service that everyone loves being a part of.

"It's more than the food. It's about being together, being kind to one another, appreciating what you have and not taking things for granted," Rajotte said.


Karen Tararache

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