Kentucky Airmen collect turkeys for Louisville charity

By 123rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs

KENTUCKY AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Members of the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Airlift Wing donated 98 frozen turkeys to the Wayside Christian Mission last month, ensuring that hundreds of homeless Louisvillians could enjoy a Thanksgiving meal.

Master Sgt. Annette Marshall-Robinson, first sergeant for the Kentucky Air National Guard'€™s 123rd Mission Support Group, prepares a truckload of frozen turkeys for delivery to the Wayside Christian Mission in Louisville, Ky., on Nov. 21, 2011 The Kentucky Air Guard collected and donated 98 Thanksgiving turkeys to the mission, which operates a homeless shelter and provides support programs for thousands of needy people each year. (U.S. Air Force photo by Maj. Katrina Johnson)

The turkeys, delivered Nov. 21 and 22, accounted for nearly a quarter of the 400 birds needed to serve the mission’s annual feast, said Maj. Katrina Johnson, who helped organize the drive and serves as the wing’s installation deployment officer.

“Our Airmen have a long tradition of helping folks in our community who are less fortunate,” Johnson noted. “I was pleased to see that tradition continue this year with the overwhelming support we received during the turkey drive.

The Wayside Christian Mission operates a wide range of homeless shelters in Louisville, including a 331-bed men’s emergency shelter, a 106-bed women’s emergency shelter, and a family emergency shelter with room for 50. The mission also operates day shelters, supportive housing for disabled homeless men, a safe haven for mentally ill homeless women, and halfway houses.

Their dining hall serves three hot meals each day, benefiting thousands of people every week.

Tim Moseley, president and CEO of Wayside, expressed his appreciation to the men and women of the Kentucky Air National Guard in a letter to the unit, noting that the turkeys allowed the mission’s clients to enjoy Thanksgiving “with all the trimmings.”

“I would like to … express my sincere appreciation and gratitude for your generosity in the incredible gift of the Thanksgiving turkeys you donated to Wayside Christian Mission,” Moseley wrote. “As long as I have been working with the needy and indigent of the city, I am still in awe of the spirit of giving found within our community.”

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