The holiday season is upon us, folks! Suck it up. It’s happening. Ready or not, here it is! Along with the holiday season comes the Dalziel Family Turkey Drive. Yep, that’s right! A turkey drive…
About 5 years ago, I was watching the local morning news while getting ready for work. I heard that the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf was low on turkeys for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. They were urging people to donate a turkey so they could reach their goal. They had families that were relying on them, just like any other day… My thought was “how sad that a family couldn’t enjoy a turkey dinner on Thanksgiving due to not being able to afford one, let alone afford food in general”… This broke my heart and I knew that we needed to help. I called my husband while I was on my way to work and told him that we needed to do our part to hell the community. Within 24 hours, we had raised enough money to purchase 400 pounds of turkeys, and other traditional Thanksgiving dinner fixings, to bring to the food shelf. Our family, friends, coworkers and local businesses stepped up to help us with our efforts. When we backed our SUV towards the overhead door at the food shelf and opened up the back, they were SHOCKED at all of the food that we had for them. We saw the look on peoples faces who were there to pick up food, and that was it. We knew that this was now a part of our lives and that it would be a tradition for years to come.
About 3 months later, the company that I was working for had to lay off about 80% of their employees unexpectedly… I was one of them. At this time, I was also 20 weeks pregnant with our first child. We had also closed on our first home 2 weeks prior. It was an eye opener. I then knew, first hand, the struggles of the economy that were currently affecting thousands upon thousands of Vermonters, let alone millions across the country. Luckily, my husband and I were able to keep our heads above water and continue to live our lives with the basics. We were able to go to the grocery store and made sure that there was always enough food on the table. Even though we were able to continue supplying food for ourselves, this situation directly motivated us to continue helping with the local food shelf.
The following year, we started going door-to-door in our neighborhood asking for donations, along with continuing to ask family, friends, businesses, my husbands coworkers, etc. Our family then went door-to-door in their neighborhood, asked their coworkers, friends, etc. We raised enough money to purchase and donate 100 turkeys to the food shelf. By the way, this was way too many turkeys for the back of an SUV, so we had to get a UHaul which was donated as well. Luckily, we also partnered with a local grocery store to let us purchase all of the turkeys at the ‘sale price’ (usually you can only purchase 1 turkey at the sale price and the rest have to be bought at wholesale pricing). This allowed us to really stretch our donated dollars.
Year 3 we did all of the above, plus put out a few canisters at local convenience stores for customers to drop in their spare change, and raised enough money to purchase and donate 125 turkeys to the food shelf.
Last year our goal was raised to collect enough money to purchase and donate 150 turkeys. We donated 170!
Things are a little different this year. We will not be backing a UHaul up to the door. Instead we are handing over the cash and checks. The reason? Turkeys are getting more and more expensive to purchase wholesale. The food shelf can get them at a enter price than we can. Forget the joy of watching the expression on the faces of all who watch the back of a UHaul loaded up with turkeys. This is about how much we can stretch that dollar that’s donated. At the same time, it’s our new duty to help collect those donations. We’re doing our part in getting the word out and collecting contributions.
Our goal this year? Let’s raise $1,000! Think we can do it? I KNOW we can, because of people like you.
But first, here we are for the 5th year, asking people for help to reach our goal, including asking for YOUR help to dig into your pockets and donate a few dollars. Allow others the ability to eat a turkey on Thanksgiving. Allow others to put food on their tables, for themselves an their families!
We are just a family trying to make a difference, and appreciate your contribution in helping your community.
Please visit www.consultwithvip.com/turkeydrive to see press coverage of our past years efforts and to make a tax deductible monetary contribution online.
Note: if you would like a receipt for tax purposes, please note your full name and making address in the message section of your donation on PayPals site. You will get a receipt mailed to you directly from the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf.
THANK YOU for helping us reach our goal! Please share this post with your friends and family! Help make a difference!
Love getting to read the story behind this and I can’t wait to make a donation!