31st Anniversary Thanksgiving Dinner

Presented By: Wells Fargo


-212Days -23Hours -27Min. -53Sec.
Thursday, November 23, 2017 
11am – 3pm
Honda Center
Thank you for visiting the Official We Give Thanks website! This year we are celebrating 31 years of giving in Orange County! Since its inception, We Give Thanks has served a free meal to over a quarter-million people in need.
Last year we fed over 13,000 people in the Honda Center parking lot and this year we look forward to continuing our mission with your help!!

Our Cause

In addition to providing a Thanksgiving Day feast to the homeless and less fortunate, The We Give Thanks Thanksgiving Dinner has become a meeting point where anyone not wanting to spend this festive time of year alone can come and enjoy a great meal, entertainment, and the friendly company of thousands of others from Southern California.

our cause image

Our Mission

The mission of We Give Thanks is to enhance the well-being of the less fortunate in Southern California by making ongoing efforts and contributions to their well-being. We carry out this mission through various service activities. This includes bringing our community together on Thanksgiving Day for a special holiday meal, entertainment, and meeting place.

our mission photo

Board of Directors

Frank Garcia — Founder

Kevin Draper — President

Paul Andresen — Vice President

Nam Hoang — Treasurer

Frank Soria — Secretary

Jay Applebaum

Cindy Chikahisa

Kari Flood

Kent French

Roger Friedman

Frank Garcia Jr.

June Glenn

Claudio Loyola

Keerstin Preijers

Alex Vargas

Gilbert Vargas

thanksgiving Turkey

Board of Directors

Frank Garcia – Founder

Kevin Draper – President

Paul Andresen – Vice President

Nam Hoang – Treasurer

Kent French

Roger Friedman

June Glenn

Claudio Loyola

Natalie Merrick

Keerstin Preijers

Alex Vargas

Gilbert Vargas

our history photo

Our History

For 30 years, We Give Thanks has been helping those in need in the greater Orange County and Los Angeles areas.

Frank Garcia, founder of We Give Thanks, felt blessed that his family had food and shelter but he knew that many families lacked his good fortune.

Believing Thanksgiving is a special day to give thanks for God’s gifts, Garcia decided serve a free Thanksgiving Day dinner to families in need in the parking lot of his family owned restaurant, La Casa Garcia. Each year the number of persons increased and soon surpassed 15,000.

This upcoming Thanksgiving will mark the 30th Annual Thanksgiving Dinner. Although the location has changed from the parking lot of La Casa Garcia to Honda Center, the purpose of the dinner has remained the same: To serve a free Thanksgiving dinner to individuals and families in need.

Biography of Frank Garcia

As a child in Bishop, Texas, Frank Garcia learned many valuable lessons from his father, born in Mexico, and from his mother, born in Texas, who valued hard work, pride in being an American citizen, thankfulness for the daily gifts of life, and the importance of helping others. Moving to southern California in 1961, Garcia founded several restaurants including La Casa Garcia Restaurant in Anaheim in 1973, which soon became a leading Orange County restaurant through the dedicated commitment of Frank, his wife Silvia, and their children, Frank, Jr., Johnny, Cindy, Veronica, and Silvia.

The childhood lessons Garcia learned instilled a sense of community, a need to give to others, and the inspiration to establish We Give Thanks Inc., a nonprofit corporation, which has served free Thanksgiving dinners to Southern Californians in need for nearly two decades—to date, more than 200,000 meals.

In 2001, We Give Thanks established an annual Women of Vision Awards Dinner in memory of his mother to recognize women with exceptional commitments to community service. Proceeds from this event benefit the We Give Thanks Scholarship Program, which assists local students in need. In 2005, Garcia traveled to Corpus Christi, Texas after Hurricane Katrina to serve tens of thousands of hot meals to evacuees. We Give Thanks has also served orphanages in Tijuana, Mexico, distributing food, toys, computers, and school supplies. Frank Garcia is committed to serving persons in need with compassion and instilling the spirit of giving to others.

biography of frank garcia

Thanksgiving Event Committee

Stephanie Hsu- Volunteers Lead

Kari Flood- Overall Kitchen Lead

Ken Caplin- Overall Turkey Lead

Dr. Jay Applebaum- Turkey Lead

Ron Sandoval- Potatoes Lead

Scott Friedman- Gravy Lead

Joshua Matua- Stuffing Lead

Michele Stepp- Vegetables Lead

Jeannie Tran- Pies/Drinks Lead

Mai Bui- Pies/Drinks Lead

Jaraset Garcia- Utensils Lead

Michelle French- VIP Lead

John Alba- Event set-up Lead

Jeff Jaster- Logistics Lead

Tim McDonald- Logistics Lead

Conrad Diaz- Lead

Laurie Diaz- Lead

Ally Stepp- Lead

Brian Ruddy- Event Day

Roger Friedman- Logistics Director

Keerstin Preijers- Kitchen Director

We give thanks to YOU.