Mohawk student Elijah Rodriguez has seen many unhoused people in his life.
For years, Rodriguez, now 10 and originally from Philadelphia before moving to Lawrence County, wanted to give back to those in need in the community.
On Monday, Rodriguez was able to take a first step toward that goal with his family and friend serving up a Thanksgiving meal for those at the City Rescue Mission.
“They don’t have much while I have a lot,” Rodriguez said. “If I help out, they will have more.”
Rodriguez was joined Monday by his parents Luis Rodriguez and Samantha McCarthy, friend Dakota Fetty, 9, and his mother, Josie Fetty.
Together, they prepared a Thanksgiving feast with four turkeys as well as mashed potatoes, stuffing, vegetables, dinner rolls, deviled eggs, cranberry sauce and dessert.
“He’s been wanting to do this for awhile,” Luis Rodriguez said.
McCarthy said the boys, in addition to helping serve the food, also peeled the potatoes, helped cook and cleaned up afterward.
She said the school district was thrilled with the boys volunteering their time, giving both of them vacation days to miss school to help out.
Rodriguez said he wants to follow the model set forth in the Mohawk PRIDE program, which stands for personal responsibility, respect, integrity, determination and enthusiasm.
Luis Rodriguez said they are planning a food, hats and gloves donation drive for the City Rescue Mission in December.
McCarthy said her son wants to continue doing something “big,” with the goal being to start his own non-profit to help the community.
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