COMANCHE COUNTY, Okla. - A turkey on the table to share with family and friends is a symbol of Thanksgiving Day and while most people could not imagine the holiday without one, it is a reality for far too many people.
Thanks to Comanche County Sheriff Kenny Stradley, his deputies, and gracious donors, more than 150 local families have a bird in their refrigerators Friday night, just in time for Thanksgiving.
Stradley says his department buys them with cash donated by community members. He has been handing them out to families for over 20 years. If you do the math, that is thousands of Thanksgiving dinners that were made complete with turkey. It is not always a good thing when the sheriff knocks on your door, but around this time of the year many families are waiting for it.
"This is all part of a deal where people come along and want to help people and they help us to be able to help others," said Stradley.
Thanksgiving has a whole new meaning for Patty Romines. Not only is she thankful for the sheriff delivering her Thanksgiving bird...
"I didn't think I was going to make it three years ago. I died and he came in the hospital and prayed for me," said Romines.
And for that reason, Romines says the holidays mean even more to her today. The turkey just helps make it complete.
"Because my son was coming over and we wouldn't have it if he didn't bring it," said Romines.
"If we had a million of them, we probably wouldn't have enough. There's a lot of people hurting and I would like to ask people, if you're doing okay, try to help your neighbor or someone else," said Stradley.
While turkey deliveries may be over, Stradley says his department is already getting ready for its annual Christmas ham and toy giveaway. He says they will start gathering names Dec. 1. You can call the sheriff's department at (580) 353-4280 to let them know about people who may need the help.
If you would like to make a donation to help the Sheriff's Christmas Giveaway, just stop by his department on the first floor of the Comanche County Courthouse.