Not many people start thinking about the holidays during the hot, humid heat of summer. CMJ Motors owner Christine Jenkins was already concerned, though.
Her thoughts kept going to the hundreds and thousands of families who are considered the "working poor." People who just a few years ago, before the recession hit, were doing well but now find themselves in a bind, often unable to put food on the table.
"The recession took a serious shot at the middle class," Jenkins said. "I see people all the time, who don't even have the simple luxuries that they used to. Many of them are still struggling and don't know where their next meal is coming from."
Thinking of those people made her think of two charities that she really believes in: Our Daily Bread in Middletown and Sunday Breakfast Mission in Wilmington. Both organizations are dedicated to helping feed families in need. At SBM, Jenkins said the organization serves three meals a day and can serve approximately 900 people at a time.
"I've always chosen to give to them because I really like their mission," Jenkins said. "They don't discriminate and you can go as often as you need to."
Our Daily Bread Volunteer and President Tim DeSchepper said that for once, his organization didn't have to seek out help. Jenkins reached out to them with her idea about a turkey drop, offering to donate some of the turkeys collected to ODB.
"We serve meals on the first and third Mondays of the month so we don't turn people away who are willing to give us food," DeSchepper said, adding that they average about 40 people in need per serving session.
When Jenkins first decided to move forward with her idea to donate turkeys, her first concern was whether or not the community would participate.
"If I just say I'm collecting turkeys, I wondered would people really stop by," Jenkins said. "I mean, this might not be everybody's mission so I knew I needed something to entice some people to participate."
She had to look no further than her own business: cars. She quickly decided that she would give away a car. For every person who brings a frozen turkey that's at least 15 pounds, she'll give you an arms-length of tickets. The bigger the turkey, the more tickets she gives out. And, each ticket is a chance to win a 2005 Audi A4 convertible with sport wheels and black leather interior.
"It took me a long time to find the car because I really wanted it to be something special that people could be excited about," Jenkins said. "Plus, I'm really particular about cars."
Page 2 of 2 - She added that the car has been fully serviced with timing belt and water pump service, it's been fully detailed by Amore's Auto Spa and it's been inspected.
Jenkins will give the car away between 4 and 4:30 p.m., Sunday afternoon.
"People can come just for the drawing but I've also got lots of stuff for the whole family to enjoy," Jenkins said.
In addition to the drawing, there will be music, a 65-foot inflatable obstacle course, a bonfire with a s'mores station, door prizes, a 50/50 raffle and food from BBQ Zombies.
"I'm hoping that people will see this as a fun way to spend a couple of hours Sunday afternoon and that they'll want to help me feed people in need," Jenkins said. "I just hate to think of the number of children who don't know if they'll have dinner on the table, especially during the holidays. The more turkeys we collect, the more people we feed."