Sometimes you just need a lot of turkeys.
That’s the issue Cowichan Tribes’ Steve Sxwithul’txw is facing this holiday season, so he’s putting out a call for help.
Last year Sxwithul’txw spent $300 of his own money, along with some donations, and bought fresh turkeys for members of his community that otherwise wouldn’t have had a turkey dinner for Christmas.
This year he’s at it again, but has expanded his delivery area to First Nations families from Nanaimo to Victoria.
“It’s been overwhelming,” Sxwithul’txw admitted. “It just goes to show you how the need is out there.”
Soon after this year’s event was announced, Sxwithul’txw had orders from 150 families.
He had to stop accepting requests because he hadn’t yet come up with the funds to pay for the orders he’d already received.
So far he’s into it for hundreds of dollars of his own money and won’t hesitate to contribute even more but he’s asking the greater community for assistance.
“I’m hoping that this is an effort that the community will see is worth helping,” he said. “Christmas is great but if you can’t have the turkey dinner with it, it’s just not the same.”
Sxwithul’txw said the average fresh bird costs about $30.
“They are a reasonable size. They aren’t huge but they are enough for a decent sized family,” he said.
For every 50 families at $30 a pop, it runs about $1,500.
With three times that many orders, the clock is ticking to raise some funds.
“To see people’s faces last year when I was dropping off the turkeys… yeah it’s a nice thing to do but they were weepy and emotional,” he said. “Yes, this is just a bird but it’s so much more than that for them.”
Volunteers have stepped up to deliver the turkeys on Dec. 23 and Dec. 24.
Sxwithul’txw is accepting e-transfers to his production company email at: firstname.lastname@example.org. From there the funds get moved to a seperate account and sit there until turkey-buying day. Donations can also be dropped off at the Cowichan Valley Citizen’s offices at 251 Jubilee St.
For more information visit the Facebook page: TurkeyTrot4FirstNations.
“If people can include their name, phone number and address so they can be thanked, unless they want to be anonymous, which I understand, too,” Sxwithul’txw said. “It’s the spirit of giving and that’s really just what it’s all about. It feels so good to give.”