COEUR d’ALENE — Three weeks and one day before the big event, Evalyn Adams and her flock of volunteers came through with enough funds and food to serve 1,600 families on Thanksgiving Day.
"What makes me feel so thankful is there are a lot of people in our county who are living on the poverty line [but] to have this nice meal available because other people in the community care about them gives them hope," said Adams, coordinator of Turkeys and More. "They're really struggling to make ends meet, to buy gas, to make rent. We want to let them know people care and this is a community that would like to help. And it's good to have hope because things can get better."
Adams is in her first year of leading the poultry-powered nonprofit, a branch of the Coeur d'Alene Community Action Partnership Food Bank, after the founder of its predecessor — Jim Myers of Turkeys for All — moved out of the area and dissolved TFA at the beginning of this year.
Adams knew the name needed to change to reflect the many aspects of what the organization does, so it became Turkeys and More.
The goal for 2017 was to raise $32,000. After a successful Showcase of Talent in September and many generous donations, a check from Panhandle Kiwanis brought the Turkeys and More total to $32,345.51, and at least one more check from another benevolent group has yet to come in.
"We had some 'turkey angels,' because we had some people who gave significant amounts of money," Adams said. "I've always had a lot of faith in my life, and I just feel really blessed and really thankful.
"It's been so great, so wonderful. Once in a while I just start grinning."
Coeur d'Alene Food Bank manager Nicol Barnes said she has to give Fred Meyer a shout-out for being so helpful in the process and trucking the turkeys to the food bank, but she also wants to send a big "thank you" to those in the community who made this happen.
"We appreciate the Turkeys and More committee and all the people who donated to the Showcase of Talent," she said. "We can't do what we do without the community. We're just a vehicle. We're the middle man; one side needs help, the other side wants to help... Without volunteers, donations and help from the community, we couldn't do what we do."
Thanksgiving distribution for registered food bank clients begins Tuesday morning.