Thank you to all of the volunteers and sponsors of this year’s 29th Annual We Give Thanks Thanksgiving Day Event!

Because of your support we were able to provide over 13,000 free meals to those in need on this special day.  We look forward to seeing you next year!

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.

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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.

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Board of Directors

Frank Garcia – Founder

Kent French – President

Roger Friedman – Vice President

June Glenn – Treasurer

Keerstin Preijers – Secretary

Claudio Loyola

Kevin Draper

Paul Andresen

Ally Stepp

Gilbert Vargas

Alex Vargas

Nam Hoang

Natalie Merrick

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Our History

For over 20 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 29th 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.

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Thanksgiving Day Committee

Joshua Matua

Michelle Stepp

Roger Friedman

Kevin Draper

Conrad Diaz

Keerstin Preijers

Ken Caplin

Kari Flood

Ron Sandoval

Clark Wade

Ally Stepp

Jeannie Tran

Andy McVay