CHICAGO (CBS) — Thanksgiving is one week away, and without the generosity of others, many families would not have a traditional dinner with the fixins.
CBS 2’s Marissa Parra visited a turkey giveaway to see what it takes to make it happen. She found volunteers stuffing bags for the season of stuffing faces.
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“It might not seem big to other people, but it’s huge to families who need it,” said volunteer and parent Viviana Vergara.
And more than 200 families who need Thanksgiving food bags will get them. Among the items included are canned goods, sweat corn, mashed potatoes, beans, and turkey//.
Over the years, the turkey drive by the Pilsen nonprofit El Hogar del Niño has become a tradition.
“This is going to be my sixth year, and what surprises me is how the community comes together,” said Claudia Hernandez of El Hogar del Niño.
After a sponsor pulled out last year, the turkey drive almost got canned. But the people of Chicago pulled through.
“We partnered up last year during the pandemic, because their food vendor was not able to provide the turkeys for their holiday season,” said Sonja Hartgrove of The Alden Network.
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For the second year in a row, The Alden Network is teaming up with El Hogar. Together, the senior care network and the children’s nonprofit will put hot meals on plates that otherwise might have been empty.
“I’ve heard families say, ‘We didn’t have money to buy a turkey, and you guys gave us a turkey,’” Vergara said.
As it turns out, the season of giving is contagious.
“My favorite part is seeing the families and how happy they got; seeing them embrace the turkey,” Hartgrove said. “You can even see their smiles with the masks on, because they’re glowing – and they’re just so happy.”
Both El Hogar and Alden have their own service efforts that will run throughout this holiday season.
This year’s turkey drive will be held later on Thursday. Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25th) will be in attendance as volunteers pass out more than 200 turkeys.MORE NEWS: Oak Park And River Forest High School Ban On Activities Due To COVID Outbreak Sparks Outrage