Dozens of volunteers packed the Scoot Inn in East Austin Sunday for an orientation session for Operation Turkey.
"We try to do what we can do help everyone," says Brian Tolbert, Executive Director of Operation Turkey which started in 2000. The organization collects donations to purchase turkeys and provide Thanksgiving meals to those in need.
The day before Thanksgiving BBQ smokers work over time to cook the turkeys. "We're going to cook probably somewhere around 400 to 500 turkeys that day with the help of the Travis County Sheriff's Dept. and some other volunteers," Tolbert says.
Last year volunteers served nearly 5,000 meals in downtown Austin. The organization also provides plates of food in San Marcos, Dallas and Houston. According to Operation Turkey, every dollar raised goes toward that mission of providing a Thanksgiving meal to those who might otherwise not have one. But, so far this year the organization has only reached the half way mark on its fundraising goal. "We're definitely very short on money this year," says volunteer Brittanie Graswich. "We're about $14,000 short."
As Thanksgiving quickly approaches, they're asking for donations in order for Operation Turkey to be a go. "To me it reminds me of my childhood," says Tolbert. "My family always used to cook more than what we needed. Everybody steps up, they help out and we get the job done in four hours."
To donate or sign up to volunteer visit: www.operationturkey.com