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Hundreds receive turkeys
Thanksgiving is a time to express gratitude for many good things, and what better way to share that expression than by helping those who are less fortunate.
That is exactly what a group of volunteers did during the brisk early morning hours on Monday at Corning Christian Assistance on Fourth Street.
Preparations to hand out the making for more than 350 Thanksgiving meals has been going on for weeks under the direction of Willie Smith, director of CCA.
"We have been gathering donated food and funds for weeks," she said. "If it wasn't for the generosity of this community there would be a lot of people going with very slim pickings for a Thanksgiving meal."
Add to that the hours of organizing the food, bagging and boxing it up, local businessman and volunteer Pete Dagorret making a run to Willows to pick up more than 300 frozen turkeys and the silent giving of individuals, clubs and organizations who donated money and the community had the makings of a very successful day of thankful gi ing.
"We had students from the high school here volunteering their vacation time, the school's drill team bagged more than 300 bags of food along with many other volunteers," Smith stated. "And members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were here to help. It really is amazing."
One of the most notable volunteers to join the forces during the crisp morning efforts was 9-year-old Landon Touvell of Corning, who has been fighting leukemia for the past few years.
"There have been so many people who have helped me I wanted to give something back," Touvell said as he handed a frozen turkey to one of the more than 350 people standing in line outside CCA's doors on Monday.
Smith is also amazed at the growing number of families who are in need of the help CCA offers.
"Every year, the number just keeps growing. I just wish our ability to help followed suit," Smith said.
The people in line ranged from young to old, individuals to families.
"I just wish we could do more," added Smith. "Seeing the seniors and the children is the hardest."
It has been many, many years that CCA has been providing Thanksgiving meals, and now that this year's turkey day work is done, Smith is already organizing the efforts for Christmas.
"We don't provide nearly as many Christmas dinners because of the Christmas Basket program put on by the Corning Volunteer Fire Department," Smith stated.
For more than 35 years, the fire department has provided brand new toys and a Christmas meal for more than 80 less fortunate families in the community.
"I'm really proud to be a part of this town," Smith said.