Hopkinton’s student-run Thanksgiving Turkey Drive will be collecting turkeys and other Thanksgiving fare for the Salvation Army. This year’s drive, the 20th annual, has set a goal of collecting 75 turkeys and feeding approximately 250 local families.
“My brothers and I have been involved in the turkey drive for about 12 years,” said Hopkinton High School junior Dylan Johnson, this year’s drive coordinator. “At first I just helped my older brothers carry the turkeys. The drive was started 20 years ago by a family friend, Dan Merzel. I have remained involved with the drive because seeing how grateful the families in need are inspires me every year.”
The Johnson and Kramer families took the reins from the Merzel family after Dan, a 2005 Hopkinton High graduate, then his younger brother, Adam, moved on to college.
Many area families and businesses contribute to the drive.
“We have reached out to a few groups, and we are waiting to hear back,” said Johnson. “What makes the drive special is that most of the donations come from Hopkinton families.”
Jack Breslin, Bobby McGuire and Kate Stauss have been assisting Johnson this year, and they welcome more volunteers. Any interested students may email Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Collections will take place at three locations from Monday, Nov. 12, through Thursday, Nov. 15. Student volunteers will be on hand to collect turkeys as well as boxed desserts, gravy, pies, potato flakes, cranberry sauce and stuffing each day from 2 to 2:30 p.m. at Hopkinton Middle and High schools, 88 and 90 Hayden Rowe St., and from 3:30 to 5 p.m. at Elmwood School, 14 Elm St. The group will also accept cash donations to purchase food for the drive. The schools will provide freezer space for turkeys, but students should not bring turkeys on the bus.
“The feeling of helping others is incredible, and it is a great way to start the holiday season,” said Johnson, who is available by email at email@example.com to answer any questions.