PITTSBURGH — You see them working every day, tirelessly patrolling the streets in the city of Pittsburgh.
But on Thanksgiving, when an officer shows up on your doorstep, it’s a blessing.
“That’s the one we are going to keep drawing from for the rest of them,” said Officer Joshua Stinebaugh.
Stinebaugh is loaded down with boxes as he hits the streets of Zone 6.
“There’s turkey meals in here and bread to go with it. You can grab one and go. We have enough meals here for those that requested some,” Stinebaugh said.
It has become an annual tradition to give back to the residents he serves.
“It’s rewarding we get to meet and greet the people we regularly communicate with and provide meals for them,” Stinebaugh said.
He’s not alone. Inside a church on Southside, it’s all hands on deck to get these meals ready to go.
“There’s a lot of love in this project it’s grown especially in these times we are living in,” Officer Christine Luffey said.
As the need arises, the passion for helping does too.
“I am getting all weepy I’m just so happy to help those people,” said Cindy Skelley who was volunteering.
Skelley is just one of dozens of volunteers packing up these meals. It’s everything from mashing potatoes to corn and a whole lot of stuffing too.
It’s a no questions asked program, if you are in need all you have to do is call Zone 3 and ask.
“I had one woman call me who was homeless and had just got a place to live and her case worker was there she hadn’t, and her son hadn’t had anything to eat in four days. I said look we have you covered on thanksgiving. Hang in there things are going to get better,” Luffey said.
As each car pulls up to load up, more officers step out to give back.
“They really want to do it they really want to serve. And it gives the public to see us in a different light. We are people too we are all in the same boat trying to survive,” Luffey said.
Dozens of miles were covered, 3832 meals delivered, and residents in every city neighborhood felt the joy this holiday season.
“It is absolutely the true meaning of thanksgiving absolutely there is no better place to be on thanksgiving morning than right here with all these wonderful people,” Skelley said.
This was a project. Due to some staffing shortages this year, the Bureau of Police were able to pull in Port Authority Police and County Police to assist with some deliveries so there were still officers on the street for Thanksgiving Day.
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