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Donors Pony Up For Thanksgiving

Kaaren Shoulders has had no problem staying busy this week filling bags with food for the annual Thanksgiving giveaway at the George Washington Carver Community Center. But last week, Shoulders and other Carver staff members weren't sure they'd be able to reach the target of feeding 125 families.

They had only 40 turkeys lined up, the ones promised to the center by Stew Leonard's.

"We've seen support dwindle because all of the organizations raise less and so they give less," said Novelette Peterkin, Carver’s executive director. "Early last week, we were really nervous. … And we said, 'You know what, let's send an email to the people who already support us.' "

Karl Chevrolet in New Canaan came through. "They made a commitment to us, they are covering the shortage of what we need," said Peterkin. "One appeal to them and they made it happen."

When Shoulders, Carver’s development associate and volunteer coordinator, returned from the Stew Leonard's giveaway Thursday morning, she added those 40 turkeys to the 85 that were already in the freezer. Next week's giveaway is good to go.

The bags are filled with food donated or paid for by the center's corporate sponsors and donors, including Pepperidge Farm, The Congregational Church of New Canaan and Noroton Presbyterian Church . The bags are designed to provide Thanksgiving dinner, as well as food for the next day or for lunch. Items include soups, pancake mix, pancake syrup, pasta, canned milk and rolls. Families with more than five people will receive two bags.

"People have responded and they have given us donations that allow us to go and pick up the items that we need," Peterkin said. "So it's remarkable, because we were getting nervous."

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