The 13th annual Thanksgiving Dinner Drive was a great success thanks to the hard work of the Third Form. They gathered 497 full meals for families to enjoy on the big day. The Turkey Drive was created in 2010 by Mr. Trautz, and since then, it has grown to be one of the highlights of the Third Form year and a meaningful event for the entire community. It is hard to believe that what started as 36 meals has grown to almost 500, and we look forward to reaching that checkpoint next year.
The first step in the process included forming the donation and assembly boxes donated each year by Harpoon. Mr. George commented that during the construction period, the library was “especially loud, as boys were talking and competing as well as taping and folding the boxes.” From there, the boys placed boxes in each advisory room around campus so that each member of the community could get their donations in. After the first period of collection, the boxes were brought to MacPherson, where the specific items were sorted and organized into each meal. Despite the initial amount of many donations, only about 200 meals were first made, and the boxes were set out again, this time with a prize for the leading advisory of each form. Along with a few more encouraging emails from Mr. George, more and more meals trickled in each day until the number was reached.
After every meal was assembled and checked, the Third Formers brought them to the delivery cars. With the help of almost 50 parents, the boys delivered the meals to their final destinations. This year’s Turkey Drive connected with 19 different organizations, some of which received the meals to be handed out and others had the meals directly distributed to families, allowing the boys to see the impact they had on brightening someone’s day. Due to an excess of some items, larger families were given extra items, and some of the boys even started a Halloween candy drive, sprinkling in sweet treats for an extra surprise.
Sadly, with complications due to COVID-19 restrictions and the process as a whole, the actual turkeys had been phased out. Gift cards had been implemented instead of large obstructive freezer trucks waiting out in the parking lot, as some teachers and upperclassmen may recall. With a few strategically placed Home Depot buckets around campus, gift cards from all types of grocery stores were collected and handed out with the meals. Ignoring the hassle of handling a frozen turkey, families could buy whatever they wanted with the extra money; gift cards will become the new normal in future Turkey Drives.
The Turkey Drive is one great example of what community service can do for those in need. Stopping by the grocery store to pick up a bag of potatoes or grabbing a gift card at a convenience store may not seem like a big deal, but when put together with the efforts of the whole school, so much positive change can be done. Family lives are brightened as they get to share a delicious meal with the ones they love.
Next year, the goal is to make the Turkey Drive bigger and better, as there is always more work to be done. That isn’t to say it was flawless this year, as Mr. George was persistent that everyone should push “to donate the food sooner. It always becomes a crisis to get the food and the gift cards in the last week.” Nevertheless, this year’s drive was a huge success, and hats off to the hard work of the Third Form and the donations from the whole community.