Sunday, November 13, 2011

Turkey Box drive grows each year

When it comes helping out people in need this time of year, I don't think anyone can accuse Idaho Falls of being stingy.

Whether it's the Goodfellow Fund, which has been around since the 1930s, or Coats for Kids, the community has an admirable record of coming through.

With Thanksgiving a week from Thursday, this is the week for people to put together Turkey Boxes. Kelly Marshall, who has been managing the drive for the past seven years, estimated Sunday that 373 boxes would be going out to families next week, but there could be more.

Still based out of St. Luke's Episcopal Church (which also sponsors the Idaho Falls Soup Kitchen), the Turkey Box drive, in its 12th year, now has a score of churches, schools and businesses involved.

"I think it's something people can relate to because everyone needs food," Marshall said. "The Angel Tree is wonderful, but it's hard sometimes to figure out what presents to buy for kids. But if a family needs Thanksgiving dinner, it's easy to put a box together for them."

She estimated that more than 200 boxes will be going to families identified by counselors in Idaho Falls School District 91. In Bonneville School District 93, her count on Sunday was 118. More boxes are being reserved for call-ins -- people who call the St. Luke's office to give the names of people in need, sometimes themselves.

Those who have taken boxes to fill themselves need to bring them to St. Luke's this week. Anyone who wants to make a cash donation is welcome, because there are always boxes to be filled.

For the second time, the distribution will be Monday night (Nov. 21), with drivers picking up boxes in the alley behind St. Luke's. Last year this turned out to be a godsend, because a storm early Tuesday made the roads impassable and Wednesday would have been too late.

Businesses helping out with the Turkey Box Drive include Ball Packing (cold storage), Boise Cascade (boxes) and Blacker's (which for several years has donated freezers for the turkeys and pies.

If you need a box or know someone, call St. Luke's, 522-8465.