More than 14,000 people of different ages, nationalities, religion, race, and educational level enjoyed a festive family Thanksgiving meal thanks to the Manolis Family Foundation of Dracut, Massachusetts.
On November 20, Nicholas and Voula Manolis, and their sons Elias and Efthymios, with the help of about 400 volunteers men and women, brought joy and smiles on the faces of the members of 2,200 families by delivering the traditional turkey meal to schools, institutions, and homes.
Owners of the Dracut House of Pizza & Seafood Restaurant, their foundation’s “Project Helping Hands” community effort began in 1994 with 6 volunteers helping to assemble and deliver 30 complete Thanksgiving Dinner baskets to families in the local area.
Over twenty years later, due to the escalating need and the family’s own quest to reach out and help more families within the Merrimack Valley area, their network grew to over 400 volunteers, who assembled and delivered over 2,000 baskets to needy families in 2016.
To date, Project Helping Hands has fed approximately 15,500 families at Thanksgiving and 2017 marked the project’s 24th anniversary. The Manolis Family Foundation has expanded its goal to include providing food, financial aid, and scholarships to individuals and families in need within their community.