Turkeys from Heaven: Passing it on

Published 11:17 pm Wednesday, December 22, 2021

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Others may not remember what you said or what you did but they will remember how you made them feel.

Kelly Sanders remembers how she felt on Christmas morning when she awoke to the caring spirit of others.

In a younger time and another place, Sanders said people “took care of us.”

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“It was such a good feeling, the compassion shown to us,” she said. “I wanted to pass it on.”

Sanders organized Turkeys from Heaven in Troy eight years ago. Her desire was to show the kindness and love to others that had been shown to her when she needed it most.

“This is wonderful. Today is wonderful,” she said.

“Today” was Wednesday, December 22. It was the day for 400 turkey dinners to be cooked, boxed and delivered to 400 individuals and families who would benefit from and be blessed by the thoughtfulness and loving kindness of others.

“This is what Christmas is all about, giving to others, Sanders said and added, “doing for others.”

Cattlemen Park, inside and in the arena, was filled with “doers” of all ages, but, in a large part, by young people.

“It is wonderful to see this many young people being part of giving to others,” Sanders said. “Much of the reason goes, of course, to their parents but also to the churches and schools that encourage and motivate young people to participate in service projects.”

Sanders said it’s a wonderful thing to see young people come back, again and again, to volunteer with Turkeys from Heaven.

“Some of them might have to be encouraged to come the first time but, once they come, they will come back. Almost to a one. It’s contagious,” she said.

For Bennet Holmes, volunteering with Turkeys from Heaven is an opportunity to “help somebody else by putting food on their table.”

For Taylor Jinright, it’s simply the joy of helping others. “And it is a joy.”

For Mary Beth Green, it’s knowing that God has blessed her. “It the least I can do.”

Paul Watkins was a mess sergeant for Uncle Sam so cooking for large numbers is second nature to him. “But, there’s just something about helping people that are less fortunate that makes it so worthwhile. That makes Christmas even more meaningful.”

Rose Buchanan is a two-year volunteer with Turkeys from Heaven and she could hardly wait for Turkey from Heaven day.

“I’m so excited,” she said. “So, excited. Just to see the faces of these wonderful, appreciative people. Sometimes they cry and so do I. They ask me to stay and talk. What a joy. Christmas is really today for me.”

A village of local residents prepared and delivered 400 Christmas dinners to those less fortunate this Christmas, Hopefully, they were blessed just as were those who prepared and delivered 150 dinners in year one of Turkeys from Heaven, Troy.