Radio Cab's annual Turkey Project is just around the corner—bringing with it touching “true spirit of Christmas” stories and city commissioners handing out bicycles.
The annual event, organized by Portland's David Yandell, takes donations from many local business-owners and groups, and uses them to purchase turkeys and canned food for families who are unemployed. Four years ago Yandell added the bike component, giving out new bicycles to children at local grade schools. This year around $20,000 has been raised, $10,500 which will go to the bicycles with the remainder left for turkeys and other food items. Yandell explained that 100 percent of the donations go directly to making Christmas for those who cannot afford it, and that all people are unpaid volunteers.
"We're just volunteering to be human," Yandell says, "I don't even like to call it volunteering. I'm just lucky to be doing what I love to do."
While many of the donations come from prominent businesses, one donor—Steve Stalder—gave back
after being on the receiving end of the Turkey Project in 2002. Recently unemployed that year, Stalder and his wife had planned to eat pancakes for their Christmas dinner.
"We weren't looking forward to Christmas," he said. But through the donations of the Turkey Project, he and his wife were able to eat a delicious turkey dinner. With this in mind, he brought $1000 in $20s as a donation around 10 am this morning. "I'm just grateful to be able to give it back."
Next Thursday City Commissioners Dan Salzman and Randy Leonard will hand out bicycles at local schools, and the Turkey Project will take place the 16th
of December at 1613 NW Kearney. They will accept donations of turkeys and money at that time as well. Families wishing for a turkey can show up with proof of unemployment on these days.