Tulsa's John 3:16 Mission In Need Of Turkeys For Thanksgiving Giveaways

Monday, November 25th 2013, 5:19 pm

By: Craig Day

The John 3:16 Mission Monday held its first day of turkey basket giveaways, to make sure people aren't hungry on Thanksgiving Day.

They'll do it again over the next two days, but they don't have near enough turkeys and they need your help.

The hundreds of volunteers who helped Monday will likely be worn out after sorting and sacking and giving away groceries to people in need. But on the inside, they'll have happy hearts.

"It's an amazing, exciting time," said Reverend Steve Whitaker, of the John 3:16 Mission.

They're making a difference for all the people who lined up at John 3:16's center on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Tulsa, stretching out the door and down two blocks--people who may not have a Thanksgiving meal if it wasn't for John 3:16.

"It means everything," said Tulsa resident Melia Shuman.

Both Melia Shuman and her husband are disabled and on a fixed income. Getting a turkey and all the fixings for a traditional Thanksgiving meal is reason to be grateful.

12/19/2012 Related Story: Tulsa Mission Provides Holiday Meals For Needy Families

"It makes me feel wonderful, I just love it," Shuman said. "My heart goes out to these people for doing this for us, for all these people."

But the challenge in helping all these people over three days is having enough food to give to them.

John 3:16 plans to give out 5,000. But, right now, the mission only has 2,600 turkeys, with Thanksgiving just days away.

Reverend Steve Whitaker hopes for a last second outpouring of donated turkeys.

"This is an opportunity to provide hope for people that don't have a meal," Whitaker said.

Whitaker said the need is great, especially since a boost of federal supplemental food benefits when the economy was in bad shape in 2009, expired on November 1.

"I don't care about the political part of that; I want to make sure people are fed," Whitaker said.

Twila Brockus is one of those people.

"I appreciate it a whole lot, it makes life a little bit better," Brockus said.

Brockus got a turkey basket and hopes there will be enough for others, too, over the next two days of giveaways.

"It's going to be a good Thanksgiving," Brockus said.

You can drop off turkeys at the center at 2027 North Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard during business hours, around the clock at John 3:16 mission at 506 North Cheyenne, or at Under the Sun garden centers at 91st and Sheridan and 51st and Harvard.

Food distribution will be each morning and afternoon on Tuesday and Wednesday. People need to bring a photo ID and proof of residency, like a utility bill.


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