Thanks for giving this past Thanksgiving!

By Avraham Kalban

The first in our series of Helping Holiday Hands stories this past holiday season

“This is one of my favorites.  As employees we have so many opportunities to donate to help our communities.  Especially at this time of year.”
Trish Thistle, Senior Supervisor Operations and RI Thanks for Giving program coordinator

This year’s Thanks for Giving campaign stretched all over National Grid’s US service area, supporting communities from Buffalo to Boston to Brentwood and all across Long Island and Rhode Island. This is the campaign where employees sell and buy paper turkeys that turn into real turkey meals – and fixin’s – for families in need. Through our efforts we sold more than 1,500 paper turkeys and raised more than $7,700 this year to help hundreds of families. 

This was the 11th year of our campaign, coordinated, as always, through the Hands Together New York* volunteer group. In total, we’ve raised more than $92,000, providing more than 3,300 food cards for families in need. Employees sold and bought nearly 18,000 paper turkeys over these 11 years to make this happen.

Thanks to all those people who worked as Thanks for Giving coordinators:

Bethpage and Hicksville: Dottie Weremeychik (PSEG), Subrena Burwell (PSEG)
Hicksville and Hub: Ellen Cooke, Marilyn Reid, Lynn Falanga, Tracy Nguyen, Avi Kalban
Brentwood and Hewlett: Cathie Felicio
Melville, Hub Drive: Diana Manteria
Brooklyn: Mary Phillips, Maria Petsche, Amanda Buccheri, Cathleen Kabak
Res Woods: Trish Thistle
North Andover: Judy Torrissi
Worcester: Sarah DiGeronimo
Whitinsville: Sonya Weagle, Rob Maggiacomo
Northboro: Kimberly Etre
Syracuse: Amy Bancroft, Ola Wojtalewski, Sarah Zerrillo
Liverpool: Amy Meagher
Buffalo: Debra Rock, Pam Schrimmel
Rhode Island :Lori Spangler, Angela Birch, Andrea Blood, Diane Edwards, Margarita Gurrieri, Diane Mansi, Lynn Moore, Charlie Rugg, Kathy Sullivan

These are the not-for-profit agencies we worked with to help our neighbors in need: Island Harvest; Lighthouse Missions; Little Flower Children’s Services of New York; Reaching Out Community Services; Merrimack Valley Food Bank, Lowell, MA; Worcester YWCA; Women and Children Shelter of Worcester; Worcester County Food Bank; Food Bank of Central New York; City Mission; Food Bank of Western NY; Food Pantries in Scituate, Foster, Exeter, Charlestown & Richmond, Rhode Island

And here’s what some of these agencies had to say about our generosity:

“You are an integral partner in our mission to end hunger and addressing the needs of our neighbors in Nassau and Suffolk Counties.” – Island Harvest representative

“I want to express to you my personal thanks for your commitment to improving the world for over 2,000 children and 400 developmentally disabled adults every day.” – Little Flower representative

“We are so grateful to partner with others who help us to bring help to those across Suffolk County who are struggling.” – Lighthouse Missions representative

Kristin DeSousa, National Grid’s VP Performance & Strategy – Massachusetts, handing off gift cards to Linda Cavaioli, Executive Director of the YWCA of Central Massachusetts

Sonya Weagle, Q/A-Q/C Inspector, and Rob Maggiacomo, NEDC supervisor, at the Women and Children Shelter in Worcester, where they and coworkers donated 100 pounds of food to feed 25 families

Cathie Felicio (with husband Joe and dachshund Clyde) hands a $350 check to Pastor Jim of Long Island’s Lighthouse Missions

Pictured (l-r) are Hicksville Thanks for Giving coordinators Avi Kalban, Marilyn Reid, Ellen Cooke and Bob Reith handing a $2,335 check to Island Harvest Vice President Development Stacy Parsell


Hands Together NY logo

Hands Together NY is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to, and passionate about, raising funds to help those struggling with issues of hunger or homelessness in our local communities. To find out more or join the group, go to or call
516-545-3321. The organization could always use more helping hands!


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