SEBASTIAN – The Sebastian Police Department teamed up with the St. Sebastian Catholic Church and the Sebastian Wal-Mart to help those in need this Thanksgiving season.
On Friday they were graced with the generosity of the residents of Sebastian and Indian River County who contributed 79 full turkeys and more than 1,000 pounds of can and dry food; all in less than 4 hours.
Church volunteers and police officers manned the Police Department’s Community Outreach Program trailer out front, while Wal-Mart associates helped the many giving patrons in the store select items needed for this successful endeavor.
St. Sebastian Catholic Church had identified 72 families in the area that were in need of food for Thanksgiving this year. The church initiated the “turkey drive” to fulfill that need. Church volunteers will prepare and package the food for delivery. Officers Hart and Labbe from the Police Department’s C.O.P.E. Unit will join the church volunteers on Monday to deliver those Thanksgiving packages to the area residents.
Officer Donald Hart, one of Sebastian’s C.O.P.E officers who helped organize today’s event with St. Sebastian.
“It was gratifying and overwhelming the number of people who reached out to help others. It was an amazing thing,” said Officer Hart.
“I am so proud of the Sebastian and Indian River County residents,” said Chief Michelle Morris. “It is the community–the giving citizens and the church–that made this happen. We also appreciate Wal-Mart, the manager Bill Bales, and his staff for working with us to accomplish this effort. We actually had to shut down a half an hour early because we exceeded the goal and ran out of cold storage space.”
Those extra turkeys won’t go to waste as the church, and the officers identified additional persons in need.