Fire Department donates Safehouse Thanksgiving dinner

By Sarah Gooding
Pittsburg Morning Sun – November 26, 2014

Pittsburg Fire Department members Brian Blythe, Jeff Kavanagh, Mike Shoemaker, Chad Prewitt, Matt Lemon, Richard Jett, Daniel Proffitt and Matt Stringer on Tuesday helped present Safehouse executive director Rebecca Brubaker and shelter facilitator Shana Raciti with food for a Thanksgiving Dinner at Safehouse. The food will provide about 18-20 women and children with a Thanksgiving meal. SARAH GOODING/THE MORNING SUN

Pittsburg Fire Department members Brian Blythe, Jeff Kavanagh, Mike Shoemaker, Chad Prewitt, Matt Lemon, Richard Jett, Daniel Proffitt and Matt Stringer on Tuesday helped present Safehouse executive director Rebecca Brubaker and shelter facilitator Shana Raciti with food for a Thanksgiving Dinner at Safehouse. The food will provide about 18-20 women and children with a Thanksgiving meal. SARAH GOODING/THE MORNING SUN

Pittsburg firefighters help bag food that will provide Thanksgiving dinner for Safehouse residents following a presentation on Tuesday. The women and children at Safehouse will work together to prepare the meal Thursday. SARAH GOODING/THE MORNING SUN

Pittsburg firefighters help bag food that will provide Thanksgiving dinner for Safehouse residents following a presentation on Tuesday. The women and children at Safehouse will work together to prepare the meal Thursday. SARAH GOODING/THE MORNING SUN

For many, Thanksgiving is a day of celebrating with family or friends, but for women at the Safehouse Crisis Center the holidays can be a lonely, challenging time.

Pittsburg firefighters have partnered with the organization each year for the past several to change that, and on Tuesday they presented Safehouse executive director Rebecca Brubaker and shelter facilitator Shana Raciti with supplies for a full Thanksgiving dinner.

“It’s a hard time to be away from home at the holidays,” Brubaker said. “The traditional food that the fire department provides makes the shelter smell and feel like home.”

Brubaker said the meal will feed approximately 18-20 women and children who are living in the shelter as they rebuild their lives away from violence and abuse.

Firefighter Richard Wood said the firefighters look for ways to give back, and providing a meal for Safehouse has become an annual tradition.

“I think we’re on our tenth year,” he said. “We usually spend around $100 and make sure they get their ham or turkey.”

Not only did the fire department provide a ham and a turkey, but firefighters also included potatoes, stuffing, pies and all the elements of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

“This is really nice of the fire department to do this for us,” Brubaker said.

Wood said the firefighters make annual contributions to a fund that allows them to give back to people they interact with or give back to the community as a whole.

“Each fireman will pay $30 a year and we put that in our charity fund,” Wood said.

This allows the fire department to provide gift cards for families who lose their possessions in fires, as well as seasonal opportunities to sponsor Safehouse and to take area children shopping at Christmas time.

Brubaker said this is a season when many around the community open their hearts and express their generosity to not-for-profits, and she added that Safehouse does have an Angel Tree at Walmart.

This week, Brubaker said the women and children currently living in the shelter will prepare the meal together, and Wood said the fire department is glad to make it possible.

“It’s their home away from home and we do what we can,” he said.



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