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Thanksgiving 2016 - Helping The Needy

Published On November 25, 2016 | By Mike Carroll | KCRA-TV, Mike's TV News Stories, Shooting
News: http://facebook.com/mikecarroll1955

Working the Holidays:

Working in TV news is like very few other regular jobs. TV news goes on the air 365 days a year. There are no holidays. Over the course of a career you’re going to work most holidays while your family and friends are at home enjoying nice dinners, watching football or baseball games, etc.

Perhaps that’s one of the reasons of what I like about this job—the perfect excuse on why you can’t attend family functions. It offers the perfect excuse for getting out of attending family functions!

But that’s just me.

Newsrooms are like every business that is open on a holiday and tends to be short-staffed. This holiday season I have volunteered to work each of the major holidays. One of the caveats being that I requested volunteered to be a photographer-reporter on these days to try to contribute a story to the newscast.

Yes, I am a team player. But I am also, admittedly, vain—I like to hear my name said on TV.

Working Thanksgiving’s:

If you work in this business long enough then on Thanksgiving you will get a lot of experience filming feeding the hungry. I can’t count how many times I have been in a homeless shelter on a Thanksgiving morning. This morning was something very different and quite special.

I was initially sent out to film a routine feed-the-hungry event at a nearby Salvation Army. When I got there it was still too early, so I drove around a little bit. Most of Sacramento’s homeless services are in the area of North B St., just a few blocks from KCRA.

It’s been a couple of years since I’ve been in that area on Thanksgiving morning and I have to say that I was shocked at seeing so many people there living. Hundreds and hundreds of people out on the street and the sidewalks, camped out in tents, looking lost. It truly was a tragic site.

Then I came across a group of people who were just pulling up and looked like they were coming to set up a feed-the-hungry food line.

Some of the good people from Syntrol, sharing what they have.

They turned out to be employees from Syntrol, a solar heating, cooling energy-efficiency company based in Roseville, California, privately owned and operated, founded in 1996, that now has 200 employees. This was the second Thanksgiving morning that they were coming down to North B St. to feed-the-hungry, bring food, clothing, dog food for the people with dogs. Generally, to “give back.”

I have never seen a private business that had done something like this on a Holiday morning, at their own expense, to feed 200 of the hungry from trays of beautifully prepared food that was catered from the kitchen of the Crown Hotel. It was very impressive, very generous, and very different.

So I stayed and talk with them and the people they were helping–all of whom, on both sides of the clothing and food tables, were good people.

Everyone, at one time or another in their life, falls on bad luck. Some people fall muchharder than others. But it’s important to remember this: We’re all in this together.

You, the viewer, have to be the judge. I can only say that, for myself, and the 33 years of shooting news and covering Thanksgivings at events like this—this is the best Thanksgiving story that I think I have ever done.

Happy Thanksgiving and happy holidays to everyone!

And as Ronald Johnson, one of the people who who lives on the streets and was interviewed in the story, wisely said, “And can we all get along? Yes we can. Are we all the same? Yes we are.”

Shriner's Hospital - Christmas Toy Drive

Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California is a regional pediatric medical center providing highly specialized care and rehabilitation to children with congenital conditions and complex medical needs regardless of the families' ability to pay.

Syntrol, Partnered with Papa Murphy's Pizza, Star 106.5 & Fox 40, was able to gather & deliver Hundreds of Toys for Children that will be in the Hospital during the Christmas Holiday. All of humanity is our Family!



Homeless Feeding - Thanksgiving 2015

On any given night, 2,659 individuals experience homelessness in Sacramento County, and an estimated 5,200 will become homeless over the course of a year. According to the 2015 Sacramento County & Incorporated Cities Homeless Count, roughly one third (948) of Sacramento County’s homeless population is unsheltered.

Individuals and families experience homelessness for a variety of reasons – job loss, leaving housing to escape abuse, mental health challenges, and so on. Some, called chronically homeless, have a disabling condition and have been homeless for one year or longer, or have experienced four or more episodes of homelessness within the past three years.

Syntrol has committed to assisting Hope For Homeless by financing Catered Meals, Donating warm Clothing & Bedding & Volunteering our Time. We also participate in Federal & State programs that assist in getting individuals trained up and back into the work force.


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