DeKALB – Early in the morning on Friday, Nov. 20, members of DeKalb Firefighters Local 1236 gathered together for a good cause.
Instead of putting out fires, they were picking up 1,000 pounds of turkey to donate to make sure everyone in the community celebrates Thanksgiving this year.
The firefighter’s union donated the frozen turkeys and $500 to Let’s Talk Turkey, radio station WLBK’s annual Thanksgiving meal drive to benefit the DeKalb Salvation Army food pantry. The firefighters have been donating turkeys to the event for more than 20 years.
This year, the community donated a record-breaking $13,064 and 373 turkeys to Let's Talk Turkey.
“Thanksgiving is a time to be together with family and be thankful for what you have,” Noah Mallard, president of DeKalb Firefighters Local 1236 said. “We are thankful for our community. We love being able to give back. … With COVID, helping others is even more important this year. We think it’s important to be active in and support the community in any way we can.
The firefighter’s union recently donated 120 winter coats to the DeKalb School District as part of Operation Warm. They also donate to help fight muscular dystrophy and have donated two new vehicles to disabled veterans. They also gave nurses and emergency dispatchers gift cards to thank them for their hard work.
Major Angie Hansen with the Salvation Army thanked the firefighters and everyone that donated to Let’s Talk Turkey.
“The event’s a great way to support the community, especially this year when there’s so much need,” Hansen said. “Without receiving their donations, we wouldn’t be able to give.”
The Let’s Talk Turkey donations will be distributed with other nonperishable food for Thanksgiving meals on Tuesday to families that have registered online.