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Morongo Band of Mission Indians holds annual turkey giveaway


Thousands of turkeys will be donated to families in need this Thanksgiving season thanks to the Morongo Band of Mission Indians. 

The Morongo Band of Mission Indians has held an annual turkey giveaway for the past 37 years — one of the biggest of its kind in Southern California. The turkey giveaway has resulted in an estimated 3.8 million holiday meals in its history of operation.

Dozens of volunteers gathered at the Morongo Indian Reservation Community Center to package 15,000 frozen turkeys that will end up in the hands of 115 churches, charities and non-profit organizations across Southern California. 

“It’s a blessing to, you know, to know that you’re helping someone who really needs it,” Lester Thompson, a member of New Birth Church in Murrieta, said. 

Thompson picked up 60 turkeys that are set to be handed out to southwest Riverside County families in need. 

“A lot of people are really having a hard time right now,” New Birth Church member Mike McFadden said. “Single mothers, people that are just struggling out there — we just love doing it.”

“They’ll feel happy because, you know, they’ll have a Thanksgiving dinner even though it’s not with their family, but it’s with people who really care about them,” Christopher Taylor from the LA Mission said. 

One box truck from the Los Angeles Mission arrived to haul 550 turkeys that will feed people living in poverty. 

“Because it’s a special time and we are helping bring families and communities together,” Morongo Band of Mission Indians member Charles Martin said. “I think that’s why it’s so important to us.”



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