NORFOLK, Va. – Volunteers from the Norfolk Sheriff’s Office took a break from their usual duties on Thursday to help feed hungry families.
Sheriff Joe Baron and his staff met at Restaurant Depot on Virginia Beach Boulevard around 8:30 a.m. to load up their cars with donated turkeys before splitting up and heading to various non-profits and homes around the city.
“We’re excited. This is our second opportunity this year to get 100 turkeys out to the community for those who are in need,” said Sheriff Baron. “We’ve been doing this for a long time now.”
To make it all happen, the Sheriff’s office partners with Port Alliance Federal Credit Union, which buys the turkeys. Non-profits including ForKids help distribute them.
“People need to genuinely have that family feeling and be able to sit around the table and not worry about where everything is coming from,” said Robin Ingelhart, with Port Alliance Federal Credit Union.
Capt. Gerry Sharrow and Master Deputy Jody Drowns left Restaurant Depot with a van packed full of turkeys and all the fixings. Their first stop? Union Mission Ministries Shelter. They brought five turkeys into the kitchen, which feeds hundreds of people without a home every day.
“It takes away some of the sadness of living in a homeless shelter this time of year so we’re very grateful,” said Linda Jones with Union Mission Ministries.
Capt. Sharrow and Master Dep. Drowns spent the rest of the morning delivering to four other locations including the food pantry at New Life Church in the Ocean View Neighborhood.
“We’re gonna hand it out to families, give them a bag of groceries so they can go home and have their own meal for the holidays,” said Rodney Hammonds with the food pantry.
It’s an annual tradition that brings joy not only to those in need, but to deputies who love nothing more than volunteering their time and getting out into the community.
“It’s just a great cause,” said Capt. Sharrow.
The Sheriff’s office has been partnering with Port Alliance Federal Credit Union since 2009.