The Oceanside Turkey shoot is a humbling experience for all involved and is a great way to give back to the Oceanside community. Our town lends a hand and comes together to create over two hundred baskets packed with all Thanksgiving necessities; including a ready to cook Turkey. These baskets are wrapped and then delivered straight to members of our community who would have difficulties putting together a Thanksgiving dinner for themselves. The fact that the baskets go straight to families in need and in our own community is one of the most rewarding parts about the tradition. Unlike a typical food drive, where hundreds of food cans are dropped off at soup kitchens to potentially go to waste; instead the Turkey Shoot creates personalized baskets to help local families celebrate an important holiday. Mr. Turk a teacher and head of student activities at Oceanside High School says “The Turkey shoot is successful in ensuring families have a great Thanksgiving and a few hours of peace in a stressful life.”
The entire food drive is completely community based, it’s a coordinated effort between Oceanside Community Services and OHS with people from all around the community participating. Plenty of pre-made baskets are donated, each grade in the high school is responsible for making fifteen, along with sports teams and clubs who tend to donate as well. Individual food stuffs are also accepted at food drives held at local supermarkets and each school throughout the district.
Once all donations are made the putting together of baskets from individual items still needs to be done. This always takes place the Monday, before Thanksgiving in the Oceanside High School cafeteria. The cafeteria is packed with both donated foods and those who are there to lend a helping hand. Chelsea Jones, a student engaged in Oceanside High School says “The putting together of baskets is such a great thing to be a part of. It’s amazing to see how we all manage to work together and complete such a difficult task that reaps large benefits.”. This year to add to the fun, all who attend the packing day will participate in a school wide mannequin challenge.
Not only are students given the chance to make a difference through their donations, but some upper classmen are actually given the opportunity to help deliver the baskets. When hand delivering baskets students are able to see all of their work pay off, and students realize all they’ve done has had a large impact when they see the genuine joy they are bringing to a family. Dylan Rosenthal, a senior, explained how this tradition has impacted him “Last year the Turkey Shoot really opened my eyes to see that even in a middle class community there are people who are struggling. It really helped me to realize that anything helps, even one can of food can make a difference in these people’s lives.”. The Turkey shoot emphasizes the importance of Thanksgiving. It is a time when everyone can step back and be thankful for not just everything they’ve been given and worked hard for but also the inviting, caring environment of the Oceanside community.
The Turkey Shoot was covered by FIOS1 . You can view their coverage by clicking the link below.