When Debbie Marticio opened her own restaurant Ma Dukes Pizza in 2007, at 139 Maple Street in Danvers, she knew she had the tools she needed to make a difference in a lot of lives.
Since then, Marticio has gone above and beyond for those in need: providing Thanksgiving dinner to local families who might not otherwise have one. “I’ve always wanted to do this,” she said. “To be able to help people that are alone, or less fortunate; that’s something I always wanted to do-and I now that I have my own place, I can do it.”
Although it’s not always easy to get volunteers to come out during the hectic week of Thanksgiving, somehow they always come through, and Marticio can hang her hat on another successful Thanksgiving.
Danvers Patch caught up with Debbie Marticio to find out how things are going with her Thanksgiving preparations this year, and find out what, if anything, she still needs.
How many people have signed up to volunteer?
This year its been a little harder; I think people are tied up with their own families and responsibilities. I didn’t have enough volunteers, but more people are volunteering now that the newspapers are carrying the story. So far I have 15 people volunteering to deliver, and 15-18 on Wednesday and Thursday to cook.
How much food needs to be prepared for families on Thanksgiving?
I have 1,000 lbs of produce coming in Wednesday, that all needs to be cut up, cooked, and packaged. I start Tuesday, and I have 80-100 turkeys to cook. We make individual dinners for everyone, so they get a full meal and of course a dessert and a little package with their fork knife spoon, butter.
How many people will benefit from all your hard work this Thanksgiving?
Requests are still coming in, but I will feed about 1,000 people this year, as opposed to last year when we had 700.
Who are your volunteers?
The Girl Scouts will be here Tuesday afternoon to wrap the cutlery/napkins, then a CCD group coming to help on Monday to do the same thing; we have a lot of people that come back each year to help out.
What else can folks to do help?
We are still in need of desserts, (cookies, brownies, cupcakes, pies, etc.), cash for buying supplies, and help with preparation for the dinners, along with people willing to deliver meals as there is a very long list of homeless and needy families already. The group delivers to Lynn, Salem, Beverly, Danvers, etc. from 10 a.m. to 7-8 p.m., on Thanksgiving Day, until everyone is fed.
After the rush of Thanksgiving subsides, how would you describe your Friday?
On Friday, I almost have a total melt down, and I say, ‘Oh My God, we did it again!’ We cant do this without the community’s help, they’ve been so terrific!
To get on the list to help: E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, call 978-777-6400, or stop in for more information.