Families receive turkeys, canned goods in Cairo, Ill.

For the seventh year in a row, organizers from across Illinois came down to Cairo to help families in need ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday
Published: Nov. 17, 2023 at 10:59 AM CST|Updated: Nov. 17, 2023 at 6:33 PM CST
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CAIRO, Ill. (KFVS) - Thanksgiving cheer was handed out one turkey at a time in Cairo on Friday, November 17.

This is the seventh year in a row organizers came down to help Cairo families ahead of Thanksgiving. The event was held at the Rise Community Market.

Shawna Williams was grateful to find herself in the line of cars, waiting to receive turkeys, canned goods, clothing and more. She was one of the residents chose to receive the resources by Arrowleaf, a non-profit human services organization.

Sherrie Crabb is the CEO at Arrowleaf.

“I wish we could do more than 150 each year, but obviously, I mean, pulling together 150 items for families, it takes a lot of organization and help,” she said.

That help came from State Comptroller Susana Mendoza’s Office.

“Everyone knows that there’s been some struggles here, so she wanted to do something and it just took off from there. So that was the reason to help and make sure that people in this community have what they need for Thanksgiving,” Josh Downs, comptroller DOCA, said.

Members of Laborers’ Union Local 773 out of Marion were there also.

“And a lot of people don’t get overwhelmed thinking you have to help 100 people, but if you can just help one family or one person, that’s going to change that person’s life for that day,” they said.

We did see some people without tickets upset at not being able to receive any donated food or clothing for themselves or families.

Sherrie Crabb stressed that Arrowleaf serves thousands of people each month through a variety of programs and they do not turn a blind eye to the needs of their community.

“We’ve had people over the years that we’ve contacted that said, ‘No, I’m good this year. How about you contact this person I know that they are struggling.’ So, they also do a good job of connecting with people in the community that need help,” she explained.

Shawna Williams offered this message to her neighbors before she headed home: “If people are willing to be out here to help people, take it. It’s nothing wrong with it, nothing at all.”

In past years, more than 100 turkeys and all the trimmings were given away to help make for a nice Thanksgiving dinner.