Tulsa's John 3:16 Mission flooded with turkeys

Monday, November 24th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

It was turkey day Monday at the John 3:16 Mission in Tulsa. Turkeys were coming in almost as fast as they were going out.

The News on 6's Rick Wells reports on the community's overwhelming response to the Mission's appeal for turkeys.

Volunteer: "have a wonderful Thanksgiving." Volunteers passed out nearly 700 Thanksgiving food baskets on the first morning. John 3:16's Steven Whitaker says they've been gathering food to fill these bags for weeks. "Green beans and corn, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, stuffing mix." And of course a turkey.

Each of the baskets will feed about four. Last week, the News on 6 told you the folks here feared there'd not be enough turkeys to fill the need. A group called Independent Opportunities Incorporated offered a matching challenge of 500 turkeys. The community came through and Independent Opportunities matched 500 and then some.

While we watched an unexpected truckload of about 600 turkeys arrived from Wal-Mart. Whitaker: "We're gonna be able to help lots of families this year."

There are dozens of volunteers putting the food gifts together perhaps the littlest volunteer is ten year old Jessica Patterson, she's helping move turkeys almost as big as she is. "I know they're heavy." Her mother thought it would be a good experience for her. Michelle Patterson: "I just think it's a great thing to do, particularly learn about as a child."

For Jessica and the other volunteers it's hard work that's well worth the reward. "Seeing smiles on other peoples faces, I like that."

Volunteers are scheduled to distribute food at John 3:16 Mission's center on North Cincinnati Tuesday and Wednesday. They say they'll work until all the food is gone.