Sanders seeks to return kindness shown to her
Published 3:00 am Wednesday, December 23, 2015
When Kelly Sanders heard about Turkeys from Heaven from a friend in Dothan, she knew she wanted to be a part of a project like that.
As a child, she had been a recipient of a volunteer food distribution project. She wanted to be a part of the giving.
At Christmastime 2014, Sanders initiated a Turkeys from Heaven project that served a Christmas meal for 180 families in Troy and Pike County. This year, the project served 300 meals in Troy and Pike County and expanded into Crenshaw County.
Sanders said Turkeys from Heaven is a way for her to return a kindness that was shown to her and her family when she was 10 years old.
“My grandparents brought all four of us home from the hospital,” Sanders said. “They were older and had to really struggle to raise us. We didn’t have much. We really didn’t have anything at all.”
The Christmas Sanders was in fourth grade was an especially difficult year for her grandparents and Christmas was not even a thought.
“But I remember a lady from DHR coming to our house and she came back and brought groceries and presents for us,” Sanders said. “I got a Cabbage Patch doll. I’ll never forget how happy I was and how grateful we were to have a Christmas dinner and presents.”
Sanders said she remember, too, the childish pride she felt in being able to go back to school and say that she got a present for Christmas.
“I’ll never forget that Christmas,” she said. “We could have had nothing, but we had a good Christmas because somebody cared and that gave us hope, real hope.”
Sanders said “Turkeys from Heaven” is a way that she can give back in return for the generosity that was shown to her and her family.
“And it’s a way that we, as a community can pay forward,” she said. “We can show caring and give hope to others. My hope is that Turkeys from Heaven will continue to grow and that we will all be blessed by it.”
Steven Sanders said he is confident that Turkeys from Heaven will grow because Pike County is made up of good people who have bought into the mission.
“I’m happy that I have this opportunity, too,” Sanders said. “I didn’t grow up the way Kelly did and I can’t relate to the needs of these families the way she can. But I want to do what I can because this is her mission in life. It’s in her heart. That’s just the way she is built. And, I love her for that.”