Nonprofit focuses on paying it forward during the holidays
LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - A new nonprofit is feeding those in need this holiday season. Project Prodigal focuses on helping single fathers, at-risk men and other families. But, during the holidays, they aim to help anyone who needs it.
“I just feel that we’re in a position to help,” said Rob Patterson, founder of Project Prodigal.
Patterson said he started the nonprofit as a way to pay it forward. In 2014, Patterson had just become a single father, money was tight, and he didn’t know where he’d get a holiday meal. Feeling down on his luck, family, friends and even strangers helped to feed him, his little girl, and little boy. He has now made it his mission to help those struggling like he once was.
“I got so much help that I made a promise to myself and to God that I would help at least one family the next year, and it’s just taken off,” Patterson said.
Patterson, now a retired chef, said his childhood inspired him to give back and give a good meal.
“My parents, they worked very hard during my whole life, but we weren’t rich by any means,” Patterson said. “I always knew that during Thanksgiving that we were going to eat like kings for that day.”
Last year, the non-profit gave away 25 turkeys in Lincoln using Patterson’s money and money that was donated. This year marks the first community buffet-style meal, which was donated by Wren’s Way Catering.
“You know, someone may just need a friendly face, a smile, a little bit of encouragement,” Patterson said.
Patterson said Project Prodigal isn’t done helping this holiday season. He said his team of volunteers plans to “adopt” families this year for Christmas by providing gifts and meals.
Copyright 2022 KOLN. All rights reserved.