The Associated Student Government and the Educational Opportunity Programs & Services are co-sponsoring the annual Turkey Drive. Their goal is to provide 30 families connected to Saddleback College with a Thanksgiving dinner made up from donations from local grocery stores and Saddleback students.
The Ralphs in Santa Margarita has already made a large donation for the Turkey Drive, and representatives from the ASG plan to pick up additional donations from several local grocery stores and churches.
Event chairs Krystle Salazar, Teal Johnson, and Allison Newkirk have set up a donation headquarters in the Saddleback Student Center, room 210. They are asking for primarily nonperishable items such as canned food, although many opt to donate cash towards what Salazar calls “turkey cards.” These are precisely what they sound like, gift cards for the families to pick up a fresh turkey, ideally close to Thanksgiving Day.
Others have found ways to donate to the Turkey Drive: local home décor store Villa Cucina, representatives from the Saddleback Student Senate and the production of To Kill a Mockingbird are all slated to make donations. Some have even decided to donate entire frozen turkeys to the cause.
The families are kept anonymous after being chosen by the EOPS and will collect the donations three days before Thanksgiving, said Audra DiPadova, Director of Student Development.
The program has grown since last year, where the goal was to feed 20 families. This prior Turkey Drive was a success, with enough to provide for these families plus additional “food left for four months” following the drive, Johnson said. This year the ASG and EOPS have a more ambitious goal of providing 30 Thanksgiving dinners.
Students are encouraged to make their own donations. Canned food is inexpensive, and every single contribution counts. The ASG is accepting donations until November 20. “Even one can” will make a difference, Salazar said.