Salute’s seeks donations, volunteers for Thanksgiving Day feast


While anticipating a record 1,300 guests at her 6th annual Thanksgiving Day feast on Thursday, Nov. 23, Salute e Vita Ristorante owner Menbere Aklilu is reaching out to the community for volunteers and donations.

The restaurant at 1900 Esplanade Drive in Richmond is set to provide a fine-dining experience and much more for local families and individuals in need, including veterans, the homeless, the elderly and even those who suffered losses in the devastating Wine Country wildfires, Aklilu said.

To further enhance the guests’ experience, Salute’s Day of Giving event will include a health fair staffed by volunteer nurses and that offers free flu shots; a coat rack providing warm clothing options for the winter; and personal care goodie bags for guests.

In order to ensure there’s enough to go around, Aklilu is encouraging the community to help by volunteering their time, or by donating these basic items. Every year, several local businesses donate toward the event, and a fleet of community volunteers that typically includes elected officials help to serve guests.

Here are the basic donation items needed:

  • TOILETRIES, in sample or travel sizes; shampoo, conditioner, shaving cream, mouth wash, toothpaste, body lotion, soap, deodorant, hand wipes, feminine personal care products, etc.  Also items such as disposal razors, toothbrushes, hair combs, hairbrushes, etc. MUST be in original, unopened containers or packaging.
  • CLOTHING, Warm coats, sweaters, or other useful items such as warm socks, scarfs, hats, gloves, mittens, earmuffs, etc. (must be cleaned before donation and coats/sweaters should be on hangers and covered in plastic, if possible).
  • ADDITIONAL: ground coffee, fresh fruit, and Orange Juice (the kind that does not need to be refrigerated).

Go to Salute’s website to sign-up to volunteer or find out how to donate. Those with additional questions can contact Jamie Dooley at Salute E Vita Ristorante,


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