How a KCBS Radio reporter inspired a Thanksgiving miracle for the houseless

The staff of St. Vincent de Paul Society pose in the dining room.
Photo credit St. Vincent de Paul Society

As we journey through the holiday season, many will think of cheer, comfort and spending time with families. It’s a time of celebration and appreciating the people you love.

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But for houseless communities in the Bay Area, the holidays can be a grim time of year, where many of those living on the street won’t have a home to return to. On our new episode of KCBS Radio’s “Bay Current,” reporter Jeffrey Schaub spoke about how a Marin County organization is working to provide resources for these vulnerable communities, and how his recent radio broadcast brought an incredible number of donations to the nonprofit on Thanksgiving day.

“I had volunteered at the St. Vincent de Paul Society dining room in San Rafael for a couple of years. Every day they provide meals for several hundred people. So I decided to do a story on them,” Schaub said. “They were short on turkeys for the holiday. Normally during this time of year, they would have 250 turkeys. But a few days before Thanksgiving, they only had 75.”

So Schaub did what came naturally to him. He reported on St. Vincent’s food shortage and broadcasted the story on KCBS Radio the day before Thanksgiving. To Schaub’s surprise, his story brought outstanding support to St. Vincent's food drive.

“It turns out, just a few hours after we aired our story, a person was so touched that they wrote a check to them for $5,000,” Schaub added. “I did a follow-up story a couple of days later, and came to find out that on Thanksgiving day, people donated a total of 144 turkeys.”

As journalists, we don’t always see how our stories impact the community. In Schaub’s case, it’s safe to assume that his radio broadcast helped inspire a spirit of giving to listeners. To get in the giving spirit and make a donation to St. Vincent’s, or to volunteer yourself, you can send an email to info@vinnies.org.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: St. Vincent de Paul Society