NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – We’re just over a month away from Thanksgiving, the time of year when many look for opportunities to volunteer and give back.
In Westchester County, one woman is grateful her small effort will grow this year, thanks to some help from strangers online.
Vivian Spady is focused on ways to make this holiday season meaningful.
“I just want us as New Rochelle, as people, to just come together and let’s bond together as a community!” Spady told CBS2’s Tony Aiello.
Family is at the center of the holiday and perhaps central to understanding what motivates the woman they call “Big Viv.”
“Full of ideas, full of energy, full of heart, she’s just trying to do for the community,” her cousin Aaron Williams of the Boys & Girls Club said.
He’s one of more than 100 members of the close-knit clan who call New Rochelle home.
For years, Spady has led the family in collecting Christmas gifts for children at the Remington Boys & Girls Club.
A few years ago, Spady began taking turkey donations to help women who struggle to afford the traditional Thanksgiving feast.
“I decided to do it for working moms!”
This month, Spady posted on the Facebook group “Moms of New Rochelle,” asking for help with her turkey drive.
To her delight dozens of people responded – not only offering to donate – but to volunteer with their kids.
“I was so excited… there are good people that want to help. When you think that nobody wants to help, it is, you just have to reach out, get to them. This showed me it’s not just an ‘I’ it’s a ‘we.'”
There are freezers at the Boys & Girls Club, ready for this year’s donated birds.
“Big Viv” is ironing out all the logistics for collection and distribution, and giving thanks for the moms stepping up to help.