OGDEN — The Catholic Community Services of Northern Utah Turkey Drive is under way to help more than 1,200 families.
The drive goes until Nov. 20, “but we like to encourage people to get [the turkeys] here early so we have them for our distribution dates on Nov. 16, 19 and 20,” said Maresha G. Bosgieter, director of CCS of Northern Utah.
People can drop their donations at the CCS Northern Utah warehouse . In addition to turkeys, the boxes given to the families in need include stuffing, potatoes, gravy – “everything they need to make their own special meal at home with their family, which is where they should all be for the holidays,” Bosgieter said.
Every year CCS of Northern Utah distributes about 1,400 boxes at Thanksgiving.
“Lots of them are families, but we also make sure we take them out to our seniors,” who receive turkey breasts instead of an entire turkey unless they request a larger portion, Bosgieter said.
CCS Northern Utah is also signing up people to receive boxes for both the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.
“If they don’t have a current food card with us, there are some documents they will need to bring in to show they meet our income qualifications. We go up to 150 percent of the federal poverty level,” Bosgieter said. “The holidays are an especially rough time for our individuals and families. ... They struggle all year long to make ends meet, but there are even more expenses with the colder weather, like heating bills, making sure their ever-growing kids have shoes, coats and pants, worrying about Christmas. ... And it can also be a lonely time for some of our individuals who live alone.”
Giving away holiday baskets are some of her favorite days at work, Bosgieter said, because in that time everyone is happy, volunteers and clients alike.
“You can tell it’s a real relief for our clients to not have to worry about how to come up with extra money to purchase a nice meal. And the kids are so excited for the big feast, it’s heartwarming to see,” she said.
Reminding people that “Thanksgiving is a time where we are supposed to reflect on how grateful we are for the many blessings we have, and what better way to do that than to help others who are not as fortunate?,” she encourages people to purchase turkeys, hams or turkey breasts to donate. CCS Northern Utah will also accept cash donations and make the purchases directly.
“We work with some great partners who are always willing to give us discounted prices on our purchase,” Bosgieter said.
CCS Northern Utah also provides another set of baskets for Christmas and anticipates having some hams available as well.
Donations may be dropped off weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the CCS Northern Utah warehouse, 2504 F Ave., Ogden, or call 801-394-5944.