Mercy House Distributes Nearly 200 Thanksgiving Turkeys to Families

The Mercy House, a resource and referral center run by the Archdiocese of Newark’s Respect Life Office, distributed nearly 200 turkeys to families in need during its annual Thanksgiving giveaway on November 23 at its base in Newark’s Clinton Hill section.

“There are a lot of families who could use help, especially this year because of the pandemic, so it is important to do this to help make sure they have a holiday,” said Cheryl Riley, director of the Respect Life Office. “Everything we do here at The Mercy House is to live out the Gospel. We try to see the face of Christ in everybody and try to help anyone in need.”

Individuals or families who needed food for their Thanksgiving meal were welcome to pick up a free turkey and bag of supplies, which included stuffing, string beans, rolls, and more. Archdiocesan parishes and schools donated many of these items, while others were purchased using financial contributions from generous donors. Michael McCarty, a longtime supporter of The Mercy House, also donated 100 turkeys in memory of his friend Jackie M.

This is the fourth year The Mercy House has given away turkeys for Thanksgiving, a tradition that began when the center first opened in 2018. Next, Mercy House staff and volunteers will prepare for their Christmas toy giveaway on December 17.

The Mercy House is open every Tuesday and Friday to provide food, clothing, baby supplies, furniture, and help finding work and housing for individuals and families in need.

To learn more about The Mercy House and how to donate, visit the Respect Life page.

About the Archdiocese of Newark

The Archdiocese of Newark, under the leadership of Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., the sixth archbishop of Newark, serves approximately 1.3 million Catholics in 212 parishes throughout the counties of Bergen, Essex, Hudson and Union. The Archdiocese serves the northern New Jersey community through faith, education and social services. To learn more, visit

Mercy House staff and volunteers distributed nearly 200 turkeys and bags of food to those in need during their annual Thanksgiving giveaway on November 23, 2021.

The staff and volunteers of The Mercy House, a ministry of the Archdiocese of Newark, prepare donations for their annual Thanksgiving giveaway on November 23, 2021.

Photos by the Archdiocese of Newark/Sean Quinn