A truckload of 400 frozen turkeys were delivered to local families on November 20th as part of the Joe Baca Foundation's first annual Operation Gobble.
The turkeys were donated to assist families who are in need of a little extra help this Thanksgiving, and 25 community-based organizations teamed up with Operation Gobble to lend a hand delivering the birds to recipients.
The Communication Workers Local 9588 Union Hall building in Colton became the morning workplace for three hours while it was filled with volunteers.
Nearly 20 cadets from Fontana's A.B. Miller High School were some of those volunteers who worked alongside Congressman Joe Baca (D-43) and some of his family members.
Patricia Herrejon, 16, a Naval Junior Reserve Officer from Miller, said the event was well organized and that each of the volunteers had a role in unloading, stacking and reloading the turkeys.
"Two people carried a box of turkeys," she said, and added that five turkeys were in each box.
For her role, Patricia said she and another cadet stood in the back of a truck and lined up the boxes of turkeys.
She said performing community service and helping others is something she is glad to do.
"I get to help the more unfortunate people who can't do things - such as the elderly," she said.
For one month Operation Gobble accepted recipient sign-ups from individuals and non-profit organizations who needed turkeys.
"It is my hope these donations can brighten up Thanksgiving for families who may be going through difficult times," said Joe Baca Jr., CEO of the Joe Baca Foundation. "The cost of a Thanksgiving dinner has risen sharply over the years. This is our way of giving them something to look forward to as a family."
Fifty turkeys were delivered to St. Catherine's Catholic Church in Rialto, and members of other organizations such as the Oldtimers Foundation, Boys and Girls Club and Kiwanis picked up their turkeys to deliver.
People drove to the union hall building at their scheduled time to get their turkeys, and one woman who wasn't able to drive to the location had one dropped off at her house in Colton by a staff member from Congressman Baca's office.
R.O.T.C. Cadet Armando Minor, 15, said he helped carry the turkeys to people's vehicles when they arrived at the building.
"They were really joyful for us taking turkeys to their cars and for them getting the turkey," he said.
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