More than 200 turkeys and all the fixings for a Thanksgiving dinner were given to families who couldn’t otherwise afford it Nov. 18, thanks to a partnership between several local organizations.
The River Valley Long Beards Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, the YWCA, Clermont County Farm Bureau and Clermont County 4-H all helped collect and give out the turkey dinners at the Turkey Food Drive at the Clermont County Extension Office.
“I think it is great,” Bonnie Hill, with the River Valley Long Beards, said. “It helps families that wouldn’t be able to celebrate this time of year.”
The River Valley Long Beards raised more than $2,500 to purchase the turkeys, with the help of the 4-H Carteens program.
The chapter began donating turkeys seven years ago and, at the time, could only afford to donate 75 turkeys. Each year the number has grown, and eventually more organizations became involved in the food drive.
This year, the turkeys, along with all the fixings, provided enough food to feed more than 1,000 people.
“It really feels great and you don’t realize the impact you have,” Dave Williamson, president of the River Valley Long Beards, said about donating the turkeys. “1,000 people, that is a big impact.”
Clermont County 4-H clubs were responsible for collecting canned goods and boxed items to complement the turkeys, and each family received around six items this year to help complete their Thanksgiving feast.
“They like it,” Scott Cangro, 4-H youth development program assistant, said about the 4-H members. “They get a good sense of community service from it, I think.”
The 4-H clubs collected boxes of stuffing, canned green beans, gravy, cake with frosting and much more. And finally, the YWCA helped find deserving families of five or more to receive the thanksgiving meals.
Lynn Stranz, coordinator of emergency services for the YWCA, said they selected 200 of the 600 families they serve to receive dinners. She said the families were narrowed down based upon their income and if they have five or more people in the family. Then it was on a first come first served basis.
Stranz said it is rewarding to help the families who are receiving the meals because she knows that if they didn’t have assistance they would not be able to put a hot meal on the table for themselves or their children.
“We’re just glad we were able to network with people to do this,” she said.
For information about the 2012 Turkey Food Drive, call (513) 732-7070.