South Bay non-profit turns to Facebook for turkey donations


Sacred Heart Community Service in San Jose serves those in need, but this holiday season it was the non-profit that needed help.

"We ran out of turkeys for the first time in 45 years," said Todd Madigan from Sacred Heart Community Service.

Four thousand families signed up for a free Thanksgiving turkey earlier this month. It is more than usual, but there always seemed to be enough. However, a surge in walk-in families this week caused a sudden shortage.

"Last year at this time, on a Tuesday before Thanksgiving, we had 1,100 families coming in. This year, it was over 1,500 families so the numbers were astronomical," said Madigan.

By the end of on Tuesday, Sacred Heart ran out of turkeys and so organizers immediately picked up the phone and started calling for donations. They also went online and turned to Facebook. They posted a picture of their last three turkeys and in minutes, the support flowed in.

"I'll be there tomorrow with a turkey. Sometime around 10 a.m.," said one posting.

The 1,000 turkey shortfall was nonexistent by Wednesday afternoon.

"Places like this, people need this, especially right now with the way the economy has hit. I'm fortunate for places like this," said Chris Libera, a San Jose resident.

No community is immune from the economic down turn.

"Consistent work is hard to find. It's not like I'm not willing to work because I'm willing to help," said Janie Rocha, a San Jose resident.

Those who are employed still don't have enough.

One woman said, if her family didn't have this turkey, Thanksgiving would be a very sad day. Still, for her and thousands of others, it won't be.

"Thank you, guys. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!" said Libera to the people at Sacred Heart.

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