‘Turkeys’ project seeks to share blessings

Published 8:35 am Thursday, December 17, 2015

By Michael Shipma

Turkeys From Heaven, an annual volunteer food distribution event in Pike County, will distribute free Christmas meals to families in need on Tuesday.

Kelly Sanders, a Troy resident, was key in organizing the first Turkeys From Heaven event in Pike County last year, and said she’s excited for what’s to come this year.

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“I would say that the greatest blessing in life is to give to others,” she said. “It’s just a great experience for the recipients as well as the volunteers, who get to meet new people and help meet the needs of families that otherwise wouldn’t have a Christmas dinner.”

Sanders said for last year’s event, she and her team of volunteers expected to donate about 50 turkeys. However, they more than tripled their goal at the event, delivering 182 turkeys to residents across Pike County.

Sanders said that their goal for this year’s event is to distribute 300. If the need surpasses 300, she said that they would be able to purchase more as needed.

“People can help by purchasing a turkey that they’d wish to donate,” she said. “We’re also welcoming other food donations, like desserts, which people can bring to The Emporium in downtown Troy the day before the event.”

While giving out Christmas meals to families who otherwise wouldn’t have one is important, Sanders said she hopes to also bring families spiritual and emotional food as well.

“Last year we got so many phone calls and cards saying ‘thank you’ and how grateful people were for what we did. Both the recipients and volunteers alike will have the chance to experience something special this year. Its great to see some of the volunteers go out, see the need that is out there, and to do something tangible to help out.”

Along with turkey purchases and dessert donations, Sanders said that monetary donations are also welcomed. The event’s biggest need, however, is manpower.

“We need people to donate and deliver the food that we’re collecting. To be able to give to others is such a blessing,” she added. “It’s contagious.”