Franciscan Center needs turkeys, hams for distribution event

More than 1,000 turned out for turkeys at The Franciscan Center for Turkey Tuesday on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) The Franciscan Center has just 13 percent of the turkeys and hams it hopes to distribute at its annual Turkey Tuesday event, and it has called on the public to help meet the need.

The Franciscan Center said Wednesday it had received around 200 turkeys and hams so far. The center hopes to provide more than 1,500 turkeys and hams at on Turkey Tuesday, set for Tuesday, Nov. 21.

“We need nearly the equivalent of $25,000 worth of turkeys to meet our expected need,” said Tony Ley, executive director of The Franciscan Center. “A gift of $144 will help purchase 10 turkeys; $1,440 will fund 100 turkeys. Please think of us as you start shopping this week for your own Thanksgiving celebration and consider purchasing a 2nd turkey for someone else’s family table.”

When Turkey Tuesday began 18 years ago, about 30 turkeys were given out. Nearly two decades later, more than 1,000 families receive turkeys or hams at the event. Some arrive at the center before dawn to get in line.

“We quadruple our weekly service numbers in one day,” said Ley. “Men, women and children will line up around the building at 4:30 a.m. in the cold of late November even though we do not open for distribution until 9:00 a.m.”

The event is dependent on community donations.

Those able to help with Turkey Tuesday can either drop off turkeys or donate $14.40 for the organization to buy a turkey or ham at a discounted price.

Drop off sites for turkeys, hams and cash donations are located at:

  • The Franciscan Center’s main offices at 1015 E. Maple Grove Ave. from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8-11 a.m. Saturday
  • The Franciscan Center Family Thrift Store at 925 E. Coliseum Blvd. between Parnell and Clinton streets from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday or 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday

You can also call the Franciscan Center at (260) 744-3977; send a check to 1015 E. Maple Grove Ave., Fort Wayne, 46806 with “Turkey Tuesday” in the memo line; or visit The Franciscan Center’s website to make an online donation.