The sun was out with temperatures that were just right as volunteers from Riverbank Christian Food Sharing, Riverbank Cares Committee, St. Vincent de Paul, the Cardozo Middle School leadership group, Cub Scouts Pack 10, and several others joined together on Saturday, Nov. 23 for the Fourth Annual Turkey Drive at Galaxy Theatres and Les Schwab Tire Center on Patterson Road.
According to committee officials, there were approximately 100 turkeys donated, several boxes of nonperishable food items, and about $800 in monetary donations.
“It was a very good drive,” said City of Riverbank Human Services Specialist Norma Torres-Manriquez.
The volunteers were dressed in turkey costumes, soup cans, wearing turkey hats and several people had signs asking drivers to stop and donate for the families in need this holiday season, all joining in to make for a fun day of giving.
Scott McRitchie was there with his granddaughter, Kelly McRitchie who participated by wearing a Campbell’s tomato soup costume and held a sign that said “Canned and non-perishable Food Drive.”
Several people within the community stopped by to give a donation or they would honk and cheer to encourage the volunteers.
The point of the costumes, officials said, is to grab the attention of the vehicles passing by and several did, with drivers or their passengers making contributions.
“With the help of a host of volunteers and the generous contributions from donors, the event exceeded expectations,” said McRitchie. “The generosity of the donors of turkeys, canned goods and cash was fantastic, especially considering the tough economic situation.
“The smiles were special too; whether they were happy to donate or thought we were a bit weird, being dressed as turkeys and soup cans.”
McRitchie said the effort came off so well because of pre-planning, the volunteer turnout and publicity.
“Thanks to all who worked the event and for the coverage by The Riverbank News’s Virginia (Still). Well done Riverbank.”
The enthusiasm, happiness, and excitement from the volunteers were contagious and everyone who stopped by that day left with a smile on their face, said officials.
All the donations from the Turkey Drive will be distributed to local families in need this holiday season.