Donations now being accepted

Published 3:00 am Friday, December 12, 2014

By Courtney Patterson

A Christmas movement that has impacted the Wiregrass area for the past 14 years is coming to Troy for the first time. On Monday, Dec. 22, a group will meet at The Emporium to prepare and deliver meals to families in need. Turkeys from Heaven is an event the entire city can get involved in this season.

Kelly Sanders, Janet Rawls and Taylor Jinright came together to bring this organization to Troy after seeing the impact it had in Dothan. Dothan has been able to serve approximately 1,300 families each year through this program, according to Sanders.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“I’ve always known the need,” Sanders said. “I actually grew up being one of those needs at one time with my grandparents. I’ve always wanted to do something like this, to start something and give back…the hope and love that was extended to me.”

Turkeys that are donated will be smoked and delivered to families, whose names are provided by Sav a life, Hospice, the Child Advocacy Center, Food Bank and local schools and churches. To complete the meal, green been casseroles will be made and served with rolls, cranberry sauce and a dessert. A coloring page and crayons will be delivered with each meal.

Individuals are donating their grills and their time in order to make this happen. Men will be cooking the turkeys while all other volunteers will be preparing the rest of the meals inside The Emporium. Turkeys from Heaven will be providing 100 meals this year with the help from the people in Troy.

“Our first goal was 50 [families], but after the support that we have gotten and the excitement from the community, we have upped that number to 100,” Sanders said. “I expect to double that next year.”

To get involved, turkeys can be purchased at Piggly Wiggly on Highway 231. The cost of one turkey is $15. The turkeys will be left at the store to be thawed out on Dec. 20 so they will be ready to cook. Monetary donations are also accepted and encouraged in order to purchase supplies and ingredients because it is cheaper in bulk.

“People truly want to help, but they don’t necessarily know what to do,” Sanders said.

The group is also seeking help with food preparation and delivery. Turkeys from Heaven can be counted as community service hours for students wanting to get involved, and kids are welcome to serve, as well.

According to Sanders, the greatest need at this time is for organizations to inform her of any families that need meals this season.

Sanders plans to make this an annual event and hopes to double the number of families that are served next year.

To sign up for the cause or provide family information, contact Kelly Sanders at 372-4576, Janet Rawls at 372-0559 or Taylor Jinright at 268-1051 by Dec. 19.

“If you wake up that morning and you say, ‘I want to go help with this,’ you just come on over and show up,” Sanders said.