LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Former "Nevada Hero of the Day" Julie Danner has turned her driveway in northwest Las Vegas into a makeshift assembly line as she and others rush to feed almost 1,000 people in time for Thanksgiving.
On a chilly November evening, the open boxes flap in the breeze.
Danner wears her pink glasses on her head as she sorts cans of food for each one.
"Some people can't get to the food bank, sometimes, most of the people we bring food to don't have any transportation, or they're sick with COVID at home or they're homebound for some other reason," said Danner.
With just days to go, Danner is rushing to fill and box enough turkey dinners with all the trimmings to feed 150 families or about 750 people she estimates.
For months, she and her husband have been gathering and distributing food for hungry Las Vegas valley families.
"My husband does most of the delivering now, we have a couple of helpers here and there but he's out every single night with 8 to 10 families to deliver, we just keep going," said Danner.
The needs and problems are mounting.
Danner says the needs have doubled and are on pace to triple compared to when the pandemic started to ravage the economy.
"With the stimulus went away that sneaker wave started crashing and it hasn't stopped, it has beat us over and over and over again," explained Danner.
Since the early days of the pandemic, more than 7 months ago, Danner has been on the front lines of helping people in need.
She started the grassroots Facebook group Las Vegas/Henderson Coronavirus Community Rescue and Barter, which has more than 3,600 members.
The group has connected people to everything from furniture to baby formula.
Danner says the needs are outpacing the available help.
"It's hard," said Danner through tears.
Danner was recognized by Gov. Steve Sisolak back in April for her efforts.
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Danner has even put her own needs aside to help others and she knows there are so many still counting on her this Thanksgiving.
"I feel fortunate, we are in our home, I had to turn in a CDC [rent moratorium] declaration for our own rent, so I understand what if feels like to be on the edge, it tears you apart, we wanted to give up a lot but we can't, there's too many people to count on us, we just need to keep doing all we can," explained Danner.
Danner says everything she does is made possible through people in the Las Vegas community.
As of Monday evening, Danner says she is short about 80 turkeys and is working to secure as many as she can before thanksgiving.
If you are able to help with Turkeys or any other needed items, Julie Danner can be contacted through the Facebook group found here.