Thursday, December 18, 2014

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NYer Of The Week: Volunteers Across Five Boroughs Help Those In Need On Thanksgiving

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This week's New Yorkers of the Week are those who gave their time and energy to make it a little easier for other to give thanks. John Schiumo filed the following report, which was shot, written and edited by Rachel Smith.

Packing, prepping, cooking and serving, it’s what many New Yorkers are doing to give back during the holidays.

This week we are honoring volunteers like Dayna DeSimone.

"Everyone's here with a full heart to help out and help the people in need,” said DeSimone.

She teamed up with hundreds of others to repack 200,000 pounds of food in 24 hours at City Harvest. They called it a pack-a-thon, organizing bulk donations into "family sized" packages for those fighting hunger.

It's a scene of generosity playing out in all five boroughs.

On Staten Island, members of the Rotary Clubs distributed more than a thousand food baskets.

In Brooklyn, volunteers put together a feast for residents in Bensonhurst recovering from Hurricane Sandy.

"What helps is to know that there is a community that you can turn to. There are volunteers who can help you,” said Sandy victim Alex Tanksy.

Another one of those special New Yorkers is Anthony Gurino.

His foundation, Dad's Away, hosted a Thanksgiving dinner for a group from the Dominican Women's Development Center.

"I get to spend time with my friends and family,” said one young attendee.

"It's fancy. The food is fancy. It's really nice,” said another.

Anthony chartered five limousines from Inwood in Upper Manhattan all the way to Lenny's Clam Bar in Howard Beach, Queens, all so dozens of single mothers and their kids could have a traditional turkey dinner.

"I strongly encourage people to follow his example and give as much as they can,” said Rosita Romero.

"I always thought to myself that you know one day when I’m rich and famous, I’m gonna go ahead and start a foundation and then a couple years ago I realized you don’t have to be rich and famous to really be a positive impact on a child’s life,” said Gurino.

And so, for giving your neighbors in need something to be thankful for, those helping make the holidays a little brighter are our New Yorkers of the Week.

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