Oceanside CA—Over Thanksgiving weekend approximately 100 homeless people were provided with food, clothing, blankets, tarps, socks, rain ponchos and fellowship thanks to a community effort led by Oceanside couple Emory Williams and Nat Tapia.
The first annual “Trunksgiving” was held in a parking lot next to the Oceanside transit center and was the brainchild of Williams after being inspired by local artist Jordan Verdin, who features the faces and stories of homelessness in his photography.
“The vision was to create a market or trunk sale atmosphere that would not only make the homeless community feel humanized and cared for, but allow us to communicate with them directly about their needs,” said Williams.
Word spread to donors and volunteers via social media and word of mouth. About thirty to forty people, many who had never met before, participated and/or donated to the event.
“It was tremendous to see the Oceanside community come together for a common good,” said Mikey Williams, donor and volunteer. “People were asking us what church we belonged to and I looked around and realized, we’re not part of a church or organization we’re just Oceansiders coming together as a community to help our less fortunate.”
The group hopes to host more events in the future. “The people we helped today were so grateful and gracious. It really inspires me to continue to help any way I can,” said Noah Valenzuela, family member (13 years old) and volunteer.