Seventy-seven local families received a Thanksgiving surprise on Sunday, Nov. 24 when 34 volunteers delivered 64 food baskets and 15 gift certificates for dining out at local restaurants.

“Tears of joy and appreciation were flowing when we delivered these food baskets,” said First National Bank in Trinidad Vice President, Roberta Noel.  

Noel organized the food drive for the Branch where, within 22 days, countless cans of food and $5,614.52 in cash donations were collected for area families in need. Families without cooking facilities were given gift certificates to go out for a family meal.  Families receiving food baskets not only received all the items needed for a traditional Thanksgiving turkey dinner with all the trimmings, but also received a “side-kick” box of food items to help with groceries after the holiday, including bacon, cheese, eggs, pasta, fresh fruit basket, fresh vegetables, potatoes, macaroni and cheese, ham steak, sugar, flour, cooking oil, pinto beans, tomato paste, tomato sauce and rice.

“We shopped all the sales and in some cases stores donated some of the food items. This way we were able to really stretch the dollars donated,” said Noel.

“Several families were so overwhelmed, they could not find the words to express their gratitude,” Noel said. “We’ve sponsored this food drive for many years now, but this year we were able to reach more families than ever. The generosity of the people, businesses and organizations in this community is unbelievable.”

Several bank employees and some of their family members volunteered to help deliver the food baskets on the Sunday afternoon before Thanksgiving, along with members of the Trinidad High School Honor Society and their sponsor Louis Rino. Afterward the group was treated to lunch at Tequila’s Mexican Restaurant, provided by Noel.

On behalf of The First National Bank in Trinidad, Noel said, “Thank you to everyone who donated, and to the volunteers who helped deliver the food baskets. You have come together to do a good thing by giving for Thanksgiving!”

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