Thanksgiving reminds us “At Casa, We’re Family.”

Nov 7, 2013

Dawnielle and the Casa family mine for jewels at Great Country Farms

Dawnielle and Kids Club students mine for jewels at Great Country Farms

As a child, Thanksgiving at Grandpa and Grandma’s house was a highlight of the year. All my aunts, uncles and cousins would gather under the same roof of my grandparents’ modest home. Though space was limited, the love and joy were abundant as we maneuvered through the tiny openings between the chairs and the wall to find our seat at the table in the crowded dining room.

Maybe hosting Thanksgiving was overwhelming for grandma. If it was, I never could tell. I’d like to think hosting for the day wasn’t too burdensome for her because we all shared the responsibility of the feast. Grandma took care of the turkey and the ham. One family was responsible for mashed potatoes, turkey noodles, and stuffing. Another volunteered for salad, green bean casserole, dinner rolls and pies. Another provided jello salad, veggie and relish trays, and drinks. It was too much food for one cook to handle, too much for a tiny kitchen to produce. However, when everyone did their part, it became a huge feast with leftovers in abundance and there was always room for one more at the table.

At Casa, we’re just like a family gathering around a great feast in which everyone has brought to the table what they have to give. We are the diverse family composed of our students, parents, volunteers, supporters, staff and more. We are babies, retired folks and everything in between. We are Honduran, American, Salvadoran, Korean, Guatemalan, and the list goes on. We are Catholic, Protestant, Anglican, Pentecostal and some trying to figure out if we believe anything about God at all. We are people with PhD’s and people who have never had access to formal education. All are people created in God’s image, displaying the diversity of His creation, with God-given gifts, who have something to contribute.

At Casa, we’re family. We all do our part and when we do, there is enough to go around for everyone at the table. As we enter into this season of Thanksgiving, we praise God for his marvelous provision. We also invite you to join in the feast of community, bringing whatever gifts you have to contribute (time, talent and treasure), knowing it is an invitation to experience the love flowing freely among those who choose to enter in, sit at the table and join in the banquet. As the holiday season approaches and we celebrate with Mentoring and Kids Club potluck dinners and Casa Christmas Celebrations, I imagine these gatherings are a tiny reflection of what the family of God is supposed to be. Everyone is invited to the great banquet table, to share out of their blessing be it small or abundant.

Yes, at Casa, we are family. Casa Chirilagua is a gift from God to the community for all who desire to come and join the family feast.

With Gratitude and Thanksgiving,


We are a community of people “learning together to love our neighbors as ourselves” in a Latino neighborhood in Alexandria, Virginia.

As a faith-based Christian non-profit with a small staff and over 100 volunteers, we serve alongside more than 100 families and their children (1st-12th grades) each week through our community programs.

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Our relational network of volunteers and donors reflects a diverse group of individuals from all over the Washington, D.C. metro area. As a non-profit, we rely on the community for assisting program directors on-site, being mentors, supplying the needs of our food pantry, and everything in between. Each member of our Casa community holds a unique gift, whether time, talent or treasure.