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Jim’s Pizza encourages community involvement in Christmas Spirit

Graham Jaehnig/Daily Mining Gazette Jim’s Pizza in Calumet has been under new ownership since December. Owners Pedro Cordozo and his fianceMaria Campegna, are looking to help the community by making up Thanksgiving boxes to serve as meal starters.

CALUMET — Jim’s Pizza, under new ownership since last December, would like the community to help them find the right people receive Thanksgiving boxes filled with Thanksgiving meal starters. These include potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, celery, cranberries, and also a few turkeys.

“We would like your help to get the community involved and give us some names in order for us to help, said Pedro Cordozo, co-owner of the restaurant. “Since we are new owners of Jim’s we would like the community to help us find the right people to donate to.”

Cordozo said the initial plan was to serve people from the community on Thanksgiving Day at a central location, but the spike in COVID-19 cases compelled a change in plans.

“We had a church already secured, because Thanksgiving is all about family — people getting together,” said Cordozo. “So, as much as it’s awesome to donate things, it’s not the same thing as people getting together. I wanted to have a place where people in need could go and feel like they had family, like they had somebody with them.”

The plan was altered before Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Friday announcement increasing social restrictions for three weeks to slow the spike of the coronavirus throughout the state.

“Given the COVID cases rising,” he said, “we decided to pull that back.”

Altering the plan of the dinner, Cordozo said he encountered a dilemma: He and his fiance, Maria Campegna, moved to the area two months ago.and being in the area for such a short time, he said he does not know who to reach out to. So, he reached out to the First Baptist Church in Calumet. The pastor, Tony Laidlaw, has given him the names of some families.

“But then, I thought: how wonderful would it be if people here in the community were also involved in finding these people to donate to,” said Cordozo. “Because what happens is, it makes them feel like they are a part of these donations, right?, because they are able to recommend some families that are in need.”

Cordozo said there are about 20 produce boxes to give out, and 12 turkeys to give out, as well. This will not be the first time the new owners of Jim’s Pizza has reached out to the community.

When the COVID-19 pandemic first started, he said, Jim’s Pizza prepared more than 300 pizzas, which he personally delivered, to people in need.

“So, what we want is, to get the word out there to send us some folks who are in need, to come and in talk to us and say, ‘this family might need a turkey;’ ‘this family might need a produce box.”

Cordoza added with a laugh: “But now, I need help. I don’t want to have to go and deliver 300 pizzas like I did, as fun as that was.”

Cordoza, a native Brazilian, and Campegna moved to the area from Columbus, Ohio where, he said, he met Morten Haugland, saying, “He’s the genius behind this whole thing.”

Anyone interested in helping Cordozo and his fiance can stop in at Jim’s Pizza at 117 6th St, Calumet, or call 906-337 4440.

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