Mission Short On Turkeys

Friday, November 21st 2008, 9:33 pm
By: News On 6

By Craig Day, News On 6

TULSA, OK -- The tough economy has created a huge need for holiday help as we get closer to Thanksgiving. Many non-profit groups are hoping for a last minute surge in donations.

Steve Whitaker says while many people enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving dinner there are many others who are hungry and hurting.

Each year, long lines of people rely on the John 3:16 Mission for Thanksgiving baskets. This year, because of the economy, there will be many more.

"We foretold long ago that if things went bad, these people would slip off the end and need lots and lots of help, and we're at that place," said Whitaker.

For years, Oklahoma has had the highest ranking in the nation for food insecurity.  The down economy is making things worse.

"There's just a lot of fear, a lot of anxiety right now.  Imagine what it would be like for a single mom not to be able to provide a nourishing meal, much less Thanksgiving dinner for her family," said Whitaker.

With the shrinking economy creating a growing demand, John 3:16 fears it won't have enough food to go around. Although this looks like a lot, it isn't near enough and time is running out before the mission begins handing out its Thanksgiving baskets on Monday.

They are 1,700 turkeys shy of their goal of 5,000 turkeys and may need as many as 8,000 because of the economic downturn.

"We typically don't ring the alarm bell, but it is a bit of an emergency for us right now," said Whitaker.

Each Thanksgiving basket that John 3:16 Mission gives out each year feeds four people.  And just to put it into perspective for you, because of the increased need because of the down economy this year; that would be like feeding the entire city of Owasso, or Claremore or Bartlesville.

The need is that great. The mission needs a helping hand, to help others.

"We've just got to do something for these families right now," said Whitaker.

You can drop off donations at John 3:16 mission at 506 North Cheyenne in downtown Tulsa.