National City

National City Leaders, Volunteers Pass Out More than 1,000 Turkeys

The annual National City Turkey Giveaway provides a Happy Thanksgiving for hundreds of residents and military members

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They gave away 25 turkeys 13 years ago to some families that needed a little help at Thanksgiving. Thursday, National City Councilman Ron Morrison and his friend Josie Flores-Clark organized local businesses and volunteers to pass out 1,000 frozen turkeys.

“It makes me feel great,” said Nina de Esparza. “It makes me feel great that somebody cares.”

De Esparza was one of the hundreds of people who lined up in their cars at the Heart Revolution Church in National City to receive a frozen turkey. She said she remembered Thanksgivings without a turkey as a child and she didn’t want her grandchildren to know the feeling.

“As adults, we understand when there’s money and when there’s no money, but they don’t,” she said.

“You’re actually getting to people who really need it,” said Councilman Morrison, who started the giveaway when he was mayor of the South Bay city.

He said he was disappointed so many people needed help, but he was happy they could help.

“It’s a mixed blessing,” he said. “We have this Norman Rockwell-concept of Thanksgiving and that little painting and everything where you’ve got this great big, huge turkey on a platter, all this tons of food, and the family all around it: A lot of families never get to experience that.”

Morrison said the families were selected by the local school district and military bases.

That included de Esparza.

“I’m thankful for people like them,” she said.

Morrison said the volunteers also delivered dozens of turkeys to retirement homes and people who couldn’t drive to the church Thursday.

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