Give thanks for the Thanksgiving Project

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By Brian Garner

By the time you read this, 450 families in the Chester will be have enjoyed their turkey dinners, thanks to the Thanksgiving Project.

This is the eighth year the Thanksgiving Project has provided a turkey dinner with all the trimmings for families in the Chester area. The dinners were distributed on Tuesday.

The idea for the Thanksgiving Project was born when Lucille Mackey, Carolyn Cloud and then-president of the Chester County Chamber Jim Fuller got together after hearing about a similar program in Darlington started by a local dentist, who purchased trailers of food and backed the trucks up into a mall where he handed out the food. Mackey, Cloud and Fuller decided they would do something similar, but they would distribute food to people in the community who needed it. The Thanksgiving Project works with other community organizations such as The Turning Point to develop lists of people in the community who could use the help at Thanksgiving.

The project gets donations from individuals and churches in the community and local businesses and industries also contribute.

Then a group of volunteers comes to the distribution point at the Turning Point the night before the distribution to help pack the cans of yams, cranberry sauce and the boxes of macaroni and cheese that go along with the turkeys.

More volunteers arrived on Tuesday morning, ready to hand out the dinners. Those volunteers included members of the Ida Massey Federated Club, Senior Services volunteers, Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA,) the Chester High School Junior Civitans, CHS band members and CHS cheerleaders.

D.R. Roof Trucking of Chester provided the transportation of the turkeys and truck driver Johnny McKeown came out of retirement this year to drive the rig to the distribution point.