Local veteran holds annual 'neighbors helping neighbors' dinner

Local veteran holds annual 'neighbors helping neighbors' dinner

Thanksgiving dinner is being served a few days early in Odessa for the 'Neighbors helping Neighbors' annual dinner. It's a dinner that has been held every Sunday before Thanksgiving Day, for the last five years, by Jesse Porras.
"Five years ago, I saw some young men on a corner in Odessa one day, and they came up to me and asked if i would give them food or money," Porras said. "I said I'll give you food, but I won't give you money.
That experience inspired Porras to feed more people in the area and prompted his 'Neighbors Helping Neighbors' effort.
"I really made it for people who mostly need it, but then again I realized we all need it," said Porras.
The "it" is a sense of belonging, especially during the holiday season.
"There are people that came from out of town, when the boom was here, they left family and friends, so they don't have family or friends who are going to cook a Thanksgiving dinner here," Porras said.
So the Sunday right before Thanksgiving, a person can come in to the event, have a meal or two and hopefully find a friend as well.
"I appreciate a dinner like this being held," said Kenneth White/Dinner goer. "Where I am from I've never seen anything like this being done."
To make an event like this work, there has to be a lot of volunteer help.
"I volunteered for Texas scholar hours, but it's also fun to help the community," said Permian High School freshman, Bethany Fitzpatrick. "Not everyone has the stuff that I have. I know I'm privileged so it feels really good to help other people out."
Porras, plans on holding many events like this in the future. On Wednesday, November 22, 2017, he will be holding a free lunch at Ajuaa's Mexican Restaurant in Odessa.

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