Posted by: ViewFinder 11/18/2012
Photography by: Melodía Gutiérrez
As Thanksgiving Day rapidly approaches many Salt Lake families are struggling financially more so than in recent years past. These families are now faced with not having the means to purchase the traditional Turkey for their Thanksgiving feast.
For 13 years now a Salt Lake resident, Frank Cordova has organized within the Latino and Salt Lake community to gather thousands of turkeys to benefit families in need.
This year a call was put out in desperation pleading with the community to assist in the efforts of this amazing project "Annual Latinio Turkey Drive". Because Mr. Frank Cordova (pictured above on the far right) has been quite ill and his focus has been a battle for his health as of late- it seemed as though the project would not reap the multitude of donations as in years past. "Since I began this drive twelve years ago, every year I've been excited to see the community come together to provide turkeys to children from families with no money. The Turkey Drive is a project that receives no money from the government. It is just a chance for people to help those most in need."
Mr. Cordova has an amazing team who works with local retailers negotiating to get the lowest price they can per pound for the turkeys. He then has a supplier who with beat the lowest price offered by FIVE CENTS per pound. The monetary donations are all used towards the purchase of the turkeys at the lowest negotiated rate. (Had I known this fact I would have not purchased a turkey and provided a financial donation only.)
After the turkeys have been gathered and purchased they are then distributed evenly to four schools in Granite School District- to the schools with the most financially struggling population. At this time the schools are then tasked with selecting the children they know will benefit most from the donations. These children are not chosen without regard to their race, religion or academic abilities- the children are chosen solely by their need.
ONE HUNDRED percent of all monetary donations are used to purchase the turkeys for donation to the families- this project is based fully on volunteers in our local community who receive no sort of financial gain for their time and efforts.
It was an honor and a privilege to meet a few of the "Turkey Day Helpers"- Melodía Gutiérrez, Ernie Gamonal, and the inspirational Frank Cordova.