With just over a week to go until Thanksgiving, one local group has gone above and beyond to help put a turkey dinner on the tables of thousands, and now a local church continues to pay it forward.
On Wednesday and Thursday of this week, the Morongo Band of Mission Indians donated more than 10,000 turkeys to help provide an estimated 220,000 Thanksgiving dinners to families, seniors and veterans all throughout the San Gorgonio Pass area and beyond, according to tribe spokesman Michael Fisher.
"People of all backgrounds and ages continue to struggle to get by in the face of the very difficult economic conditions that are gripping our region," Morongo Tribal Councilman Tom Linton said. "At Morongo, we have always strived to help others, even as our own tribe struggled to survive. Giving is a part of who we are, and we feel fortunate to be able to help others in need."
Fisher says that 175 groups groups requested a total of 22,000 turkeys this year.
The charities who made the cut-- all pre-selected-- lined up over the course of the last two days to receive the turkeys, in this 27th annual event.
There are 113 charities who benefited from the turkey giveaway from Cabazon, Riverside, San Bernardino, Temecula, Desert Hot Springs, Palm Desert, Los Angeles, and elsewhere, according to Fisher.
One of those charities right here in Palm Desert was The Rock church, which is located on Gerald Ford Drive, in between Cook Street and Frank Sinatra Drive.
Palm Desert Patch spoke with Pastor Eddie Elguera, who said his organization planned to pass on the turkeys given to them by Morongo to members of the community who are in need of help putting together a Thanksgiving meal.
"During these tough times, it definitely is a blessing to them," he said. "Some of them will wait two hours just to get some food."
Elguera said that his church helps put together food baskets every week, so this Saturday's edition will be extra special with the turkeys they got included. He said people will come from as far away as the Salton Sea to line up in hopes of getting food.
Some of the other types of organizations that got turkeys included:
- food pantries
- senior and family social service agencies
To date, the Tribe has donated some 70,000 turkeys, according to Fisher.