The givers will call it teamwork. The receivers are calling it a blessing.
But call it what you will, 25 families in Brown County will have a Christmas dinner of turkey and all the trimmings because of the teamwork of the Pecan Bayou Roost, the local chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, and the Brown County 4-H clubs.
On Monday, 4-H’ers gathered at the Family Services Center with a few of the NWTF members to fill the dinner boxes. The “Roost,” representing the NWTF, supplied frozen turkeys to go into each box. The trimmings, which included all the necessities for a full Christmas dinner from stuffing, gravy, vegetables and dessert, were contributed by the 4-H Clubs.
Since late November, the various 4-H clubs or project groups have focused on collecting all of the meal components, except for the turkey. The approximately 15 youth who came to help fill the boxes made quick, fun work of the chore then headed to the bowling alley for some more fun.
Roost President Russell Porter said this is the second year for the local chapter to be involved and this is one of several projects the local chapter contributes to. The chapter also donates food to Good Samaritan Ministries’ food bank and organizes hunts for handicapped individuals and youth; donates to the Brown County 4-H shooting club and a senior scholarship.
“Times are tough,” Porter said, “tough for a lot of people, and we want to show that turkey hunters care. One way to do that is to help families that are having hard times have a dinner with turkey and all the trimmings.”
“Last year, the national federation donated more than 19,100 turkeys to folks who needed a little help,” Porter said. “It’s been a good partnership for us to work with the 4-H. We’ve enjoyed it, and we appreciate what these kids do to help.”
Each dinner box includes mixes for brownies, cornbread, gravy and instant mashed potatoes; canned sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, corn and green beans; and a box of stuffing, supplied by the 4-H clubs and a 10-12 pound frozen turkey supplied by NWTF.
Esmerelda Riojas, resource coordinator at Family Services Center, smiled as she watched the group fill the gift-wrapped boxes, and when they were finished and posing for a picture, she said, “You have done a good thing. Some of you may not realize what these meals will mean to the families they will be distributed to.”
On Wednesday, Riojas said all 25 boxes had been distributed. “Some of these boxes went to families who maybe last year would not have dreamed their circumstances would be such that they would need this help,” she said.
“They are so grateful. I say this all the time, this may be the season of giving, but this is a community that is giving. This is one more wonderful example of what is done to help those who need the help.”