By Kristin Rover
Three-hundred and fifty turkeys along with shopping bags packed full of all the Thanksgiving fixins’ were given to families in need Nov. 22.
The National Wild Turkey Federation River Valley Longbeards, Clermont County 4-H Extension Office, CarTeens, Clermont County Farm Bureau and Clermont County YWCA partnered to make the event happen.
The River Valley Longbeards chapter raised funds throughout the year to purchase 350 turkeys for the event.
Dave Williamson, president of the chapter, said many organizations and individuals contributed to help raise funds to purchase the turkeys. He said they also donated turkeys to local food banks and four churches in the community.
“This is our opportunity to give back to the community,” Williamson said.
Kelly Royalty, 4-H youth development director, said the 4-H clubs in the county provided many of the sides that were used for the Thanksgiving meals.
“This year we did a competition for clubs to bring in all the sides,” Royalty said. “They brought 2,400 items. They did really good.”
CarTeens, a 4-H traffic safety program for teenagers learning to drive, also raised funds to provide side items for the Thanksgiving meals.
“It makes you feel good,” Jerry Krebs, with CarTeens, said about helping with the event. “You are helping people who need the help.”
Many families came through 4-H Hall at the Clermont County Fairgrounds to receive their meals.
Families were selected by the Clermont County YWCA based on their needs and the number of individuals in their families.
“I think it is a great, great help for families who need it,” Brittany Tydings, of Amelia, said.
Krystal Gibbson, of Bethel, also said she thought the program was a help.
“I think this is a good program,” Gibbson said. “It helps people who need it.”
In addition to picking up their meals, the families were also able to learn more about how to prepare the meals in a healthy way and how to use the leftovers.
Mona Glover, family and consumer sciences program assistant, said they provided several recipes to families at the event.
The River Valley Longbeards have been donating turkeys to those in need for eight years and the organization continues to build even more partnerships to help feed families in need in the community.
For more information about the chapter, or the event, visit www.rivervalleylongbeards.com.