Turkeys from Heaven feeds hungry families

Published 3:00 am Saturday, December 8, 2018

In Pike County, Alabama, turkeys come from heaven.

That might seem like an odd statement but not for those who are blessed by the Turkeys from Heaven ministry at Christmastime.

For four years, the local Turkeys from Heaven ministry has provided Christmas dinner for those who are less fortunate or, perhaps, unable to prepare a meal for themselves.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

In 2014, Kelly Sanders organized the local Turkeys from Heaven program in Troy. The program was modeled after the program in Dothan that was organized by a friend of hers more than a decade ago.

Last Christmas, Pike County Turkeys from Heaven delivered a Christmas meal, turkey and all the trimmings, to more than 400 families or individuals in Pike, Crenshaw and Bullock counties.

This year, on Saturday, December 22, another 400-plus turkey meals will be delivered to area families that are going through difficult time, Sanders said.

Sanders and several members of the organizing team met Wednesday to begin planning Turkeys from Heaven Christmas 2018.

Although planning will be an ongoing process for the turkey team, there are current needs to be met including turkeys.

“We need enough turkeys to meet the needs and there are many,” Sanders said.

Referrals come primarily from DHR, Hospice, churches, schools and local charitable organizations. Although the target number of turkeys needed is 400, the number could go higher, Sanders said.

Donating a turkey is as simple as going to the grocery store.

“The turkeys are available for purchase at the Piggly Wiggly locations in Troy, on Highway 231 and North Three Notch Street in the amount $15,” Sanders said. “Just tell the cashier that you wish to purchase a turkey for Turkeys from Heaven. They have a bar code to scan and the turkeys purchased will be kept at the store until delivery.”
Donation cards are available at the Piggly Wiggly stores and turkeys may be purchased in honor or memory of a friend or loved one.

In the early planning stages of Turkeys from Heaven, Charles Rawls, grill chief, said grills are needed as are those to man them.

“It takes an army to cook 400-plus turkeys,” Rawls said. “We have to get the grills in place on Friday night and be ready to get started with the cooking around 5 o’clock on Saturday morning. When the turkeys are done, they will have to be transported to The Emporium to be packaged for delivery so we need vehicles and drivers, too.”

Rawls said it is important to know early on that enough grills will be available and that there will be enough volunteer grill masters. Rawls may be contacted at 372-1907.

Monetary donations to assist with the trimmings for the Christmas meal, including the bean casserole, cranberry sauce and rolls, may be made to Turkeys from Heaven, 3311 Highway 29 south, Troy, AL 36079.

Dessert donations of non-refrigerated items are also needed and may be dropped off at The Emporium on Friday, December 21.

There are many on-site opportunities to volunteer with Turkeys from Heaven on delivery day. Many teams will be needed to deliver the Christmas meals throughout the day on Saturday, December 22.

For more information or to volunteer, contact Charles Rawls at 372-1907, Sanders at 372-4576, Taylor Jinright at 268-1051, Pamela Parker at 740-0337 or Janet Rawls at 372-0559.