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Norfolk sheriff's deputies give away 100 Thanksgiving turkeys

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Posted at 3:39 PM, Nov 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-20 16:42:30-05

NORFOLK, Va. - It was all hands on deck at the Norfolk City Jail on Friday.

"Today, we're getting an opportunity to try to make a difference in the lives of others," said Norfolk Sheriff Joe Baron.

In this case, that difference comes in the form of a 12-lb. frozen turkey. Like they have been doing for years, the Norfolk Sheriff's Office kicked off its Thanksgiving turkey delivery.

This year, they partnered with Summit to donate the Thanksgiving delicacy. Deputies then loaded the trunks with turkeys and festive fixings and hit the road to give the holiday meal to 100 families in need.

On a typical year, about 30-40 deputies volunteer to participate, but COVID-19 forced the department to scale back. This year, only a handful of people were able to sort and distribute the meals.

Even though the deputies were limited, their generosity hit closer to home. More people are out of work this year and unable to provide because of the coronavirus pandemic.

"I think the opportunity to have a warm meal when maybe your finances won’t allow for [one] is a big boost to the family dynamic and the individual morale," Sheriff Baron said.

News 3 tagged along as deputies made the deliveries. First up on the list was the YWCA in Downtown Norfolk. The nonprofit stands to eliminate racism and empower women through crisis intervention, counseling services, advocacy and more.

Jillian Talley, the Development Coordinator for the YWCA, said, "We've seen a rise in our services and work requests, so [this meal] is really going to help meet the needs of our community."

The organization received seven turkeys, which will be given to the seven families in their housing. In addition to the turkeys, the YWCA was gifted stuffing, macaroni and cheese, gravy, vegetables and dessert.

Next up was ForKids, a nonprofit that provides emergency housing for kids and families. They tallied up 21 turkeys and sides.

"These meals are very symbolic of bringing happiness and joy to our families," said Mary Crosby, the Senior Donor Relations Manager for the nonprofit. "Our families are generally just very grateful for every Thanksgiving basket and donation they receive."

ForKids started distributing the meals on Friday, and that will continue into next week.