Operation Gobble provides turkeys for less fortunate
November 26, 2015
The holiday of Thanksgiving is one that is rife with images of feasting and turkeys, but sometimes there are those who are less fortunate.
That’s why 32nd Senate District Senator Tony Mendoza and his staff joined with several programs such as the Barbara J. Riley Community Center-Senior Program, the Hawaiian Gardens Food Bank and the Montebello Chapter of the Disabled American Veterans to hand out turkeys to charity, called Operation Gobble.
The senator and staff set up at 8 a.m. to noon at parking lot C-10 to hand out 250 turkeys.
Mendoza said, “We pool resources from different companies that actually give away turkeys and there are different organizations that are in need this time of year for their specifics programs,”
His team passed out turkeys to these organizations and then they would either give away turkeys to their communities or provide free meals.
“We just facilitate so they can distribute turkeys through their networks,” he added.
Mendoza had been in Operation Gobble as an assemblyman, and this was his first year as a senator.
“I feel good about being able to help out some of the families and it’s always about providing the opportunity for those families to have a good time and not worry about where they are going to get their meals from,” he said.
Art Miranda, former commander of the Montebello DAV chapter, was glad to be able to participate.
The DAV has been handing out turkeys for almost 10 years, according to Miranda.
“Through the year, we ask veterans that are down and out if there’s anything you need that we’re there for them and during the thanksgiving holidays is where we’re there for them with turkeys and the trimming,” he said.
Miranda added that the DAV also does giveaways during Christmas, giving out toys for children and parties for veterans.
Operation Gobble also gave an opportunity for La Mirada High School senior Kathia Viteri to develop leadership skills, per the Young Senators Leadership Program.
Viteri volunteered to help sign in organization reps and meet-and-greet them.
“Definitely stepping out of my courage zone,” she said. “Learning to communicate with others and learning to be a good leader.”
Viteri joined the YSLP to learn more about the workings of the government and she hopes to follow something in that field.