Local do-gooder David Yandell
is once again on a mission to bring the holidays to everyone.
For the 11th year in a row, the Radio Cab driver is gathering as many turkeys
as he can to give to families and unemployed persons who might not otherwise have a Christmas at all
. But he needs help.
Yandell started the project, which now has formal nonprofit status through the Radio Cab Foundation, when he realized that many families weren't able to have a Christmas because they just couldn't afford it.
That first year Yandell says he brought turkeys to 50 families. Last year, Yandell was up to 1,400. “It's all about the people who fall through the cracks,”
he says. He says the bar for meriting a meal is still low: “Just show that you're unemployed and we'll make it happen for you.”
Yandell says money is tight this year.
He's been paying $10 a turkey for most of the past decade, but this year Fred Meyer, where he buys his turkeys, raised its turkey prices to $12. That means in order to feed 1,000 families, he'll have to come up with $12,000 instead of the $10,000
he would have had to raise last year. And the cab driver hasn't seen the money flowing in yet; he says that due to the economy and the mortgage crunch, people he used to depend on for donations haven't been able to give as much this year. That worries Yandell. “We've never had to turn anyone down before,”
he says. “I can't really articulate how desperate I am this year.”
The Radio Cab Foundation is accepting donations for this year's Dec. 22-23 turkey drive at 1613 NW Kearney St.
All donations are tax-deductible and go to families that have been unemployed in the past year. Call Yandell directly at 503-380-8027 to donate.
You can also send him a letter to nominate a needy family and the Radio Cab Foundation will have a turkey delivered to their doorstep.