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News Channel 12 Turkey Drive receives outpouring of generosity and community support

Turkey Drive
Frozen turkeys collected during the News Channel 12 Turkey Drive sit in a refrigerated truck on Nov. 14, 2023. (Dave Alley/KEYT)

SANTA MARIA, Calif. – Another year, another successful News Channel 12 Turkey Drive.

All day Tuesday, community members from around Northern Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties displayed a giving spirit by donating hundreds of turkeys and thousands of dollars to benefit the annual fundraiser.

Beginning at 6:00 a.m. and running through 7:00 p.m., donations rolled in during the 13-hour fundraiser that was held at four collection sites across the two counties, including the News Channel 3-12 Santa Maria office, Grocery Outlet Bargain Market in Lompoc, California Fresh Market in Pismo Beach and Vons in San Luis Obispo.

All of the donations will remain in the locations where they were collected, directly benefiting Good Samaritan Shelter clients in Santa Barbara County and SLO Food Bank clients in San Luis Obispo County.

"Good Samaritan really would not be what we are, who we are without the community," said Sylvia Barnard, Good Samaritan Shelter Executive Director. "The community is incredibly giving. They really provide for the clients that we serve, and without them, we would not be able to do the things that we do, so their Thanksgiving dinner is really thanks to the community, and it just makes such a difference for us to be able to bring some piece of home for them rather than it just being some cold meal. The community makes Good Samaritan as good as we are, and because of the community we are, and everything that they contribute and continue to help with."

"I am absolutely in awe of this community," said Garret Olson, SLO Food Bank CEO. "About 87% of our operating budget comes from local donors, and that's that's people writing a check for $5 or $500. We absolutely couldn't do it without our community. The SLO Food Bank, we exist powered by the love of this community, and without this community, we couldn't exist and do the great work we're doing."

As of Tuesday night, more than 350 turkeys had been collected between all of the sites, as well as $32,000 in monetary donations.

Both figures are preliminary and will change as both non-profit organizations go through the accounting of all of the contributions.

Final results won't be known for a few days.

The day included live reports on all three News Channel stations beginning at 6:00 a.m. and concluding at 6:30 p.m.

While Tuesday marked the end of the four-week long fundraiser, it actually continues online for the next several days.

Community members are still able to donate to either Good Samaritan Shelter or SLO Food Bank through the News Channel 12 Turkey Drive webpage.

In addition, Turkey Bucks, which are monetary donations sold at check out areas, are still being sold at these participating markets through Thanksgiving.

  • Grocery Outlet-San Luis Obispo (1314 Madonna Rd.)
  • Grocery Outlet-Arroyo Grande (1574 W. Branch St. Ste. C)
  • California Fresh Market-San Luis Obispo (771 Foothill Blvd.)
  • California Fresh Market-Pismo Beach (555 5 Cities Dr.)

To donate to the News Channel 12 Turkey Drive, click here.

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Dave Alley

Dave Alley is a reporter and anchor at News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Dave, click here.


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