Operation Turkey mobilized volunteers in Austin, Texas, to provide over 12,500 Thanksgiving meals to the community's underprivileged individuals as reported by FOX 7 Austin. The initiative included preparing 700 turkeys and drew participants from various backgrounds, some even traveling internationally to lend a hand.
Children added to the festive atmosphere by decorating meal containers, while local sports teams like Austin FC contributed to the efforts, including president Andy Loughnane, who netted a job with a bowl and a whisk as per FOX 7 Austin News.
Richard Bagdonas, who began feeding a homeless person in 2000, has witnessed Operation Turkey's growth to support thousands. This year, the organization worked with 50,000 volunteers, targeting 15% of the national homeless population. "To see that people bring their children, their grandparents, and their family together to come out and spend time with us is just the most rewarding experience. Did you ever dream it would get this big? No. No. I had the idea that people would just go and hand out a few plates in their hometown. But there's a sense of community that people need, and that's what we bring them," Bagdonas told FOX 7 Austin.
Recipients like Blanca Chavez expressed deep gratitude for the solidarity shown during her time of need. "Right now, I am struggling to pay my rent, and bills; I really appreciate it," she shared with KVUE. With its sights set on expansion, Operation Turkey plans to extend its reach, promising a future with more hope and holiday spirit.