With just over a week to go until Thanksgiving, one local group is going above and beyond to help put a turkey dinner on the tables of thousands.
The Morongo Band of Mission Indians is donating 10,000 turkeys to help provide an estimated 220,000 Thanksgiving dinners to families, seniors and veterans all throughout the San Gorgonio Pass area and beyond, according to tribe spokesman Michael Fisher.
"People of all backgrounds and ages continue to struggle to get by in the face of the very difficult economic conditions that are gripping our region," Morongo Tribal Councilman Tom Linton said. "At Morongo, we have always strived to help others, even as our own tribe struggled to survive. Giving is a part of who we are, and we feel fortunate to be able to help others in need."
Fisher says that 175 groups groups requested a total of 22,000 turkeys this year.
The charities who made the cut-- all pre-selected at this point-- lined up Wednesday to receive the turkeys, in this 27th annual event. They'll continue to line up Thursday as well.
There are 113 charities who will benefit from the turkey giveaway from Cabazon, Riverside, San Bernardino, Temecula, Desert Hot Springs, Palm Desert, Los Angeles, and elsewhere, according to Fisher.
One of those charities right here in the Pass is Carol’s Kitchen, which has locations in Beaumont, Cabazon, Banning and Cherry Valley. They get 60 turkeys.
Other local charities include:
- Cabazon's James A. Venable Community Center- 200
- Banning's Victory Outreach Church- 125
- San Gorgonio Child Care Consortium- 75
- Banning's Housing Assistance Program for Veterans- 2
Victory Outreach Pastor Victor Archuleta said his group plans on using the turkeys as part of a holiday dinner for the homeless.
"Our ministry really reaches out to families that are struggling," said Archuleta. "It's tremendous to see what Morongo is doing. They are meeting the needs of a lot of people in the community. Without Morongo, a lot of people would be going without this holiday."
Some of the types of organizations that were getting turkeys included:
- food pantries
- senior and family social service agencies
To date, the Tribe has donated some 70,000 turkeys, according to Fisher.