Salvation Army gives out 200 turkeys for Thanksgiving, gathers donations for Christmas

Kenya Menjivar
Waxahachie Daily Light

The Salvation Army of Waxahachie gave away more than 200 turkeys and food baskets to residents in need during the Thanksgiving holiday.

“This Thanksgiving, what we are doing in Ellis County, is that we’ve had about 200 turkeys that have been donated to us. So for the last week, we have been handing out turkeys as well as food baskets for this past week, to people who are coming in,” shared Major Don Wildish, Corps Officer of The Salvation Army of Waxahachie.

Although Ellis County does not have as many people as the other Salvation Army counties, the Salvation Army of Waxahachie was determined to help its residents.

Handing out Turkeys is an annual event that the Salvation Army holds. The organization began collecting turkeys in mid-October.

“The families have been taking the turkeys, and they take it home and prepare their own meal at home, so that they can have Thanksgiving dinner at the privacy of their home and around their own dinner table. It’s one of the approaches here in a county that is not as highly populated as some of the other counties around,” said Wildish. 

In order to receive a basket, folks go through Social Services to be able to qualify for a turkey and a basket. The food donated for the week was all Thanksgiving food focused.

“We’re not just giving it away to anyone who walks in, but we're giving it to families that actually need it,” said Wildish. “It’s really been a large collaboration of donors that have just brought their resources together and donate to the Salvation Army that we’ve been able to distribute to the community.”

Additionally, the Salvation Army is already working on events to make the Christmas season successful.

“Right now we’re focusing on Christmas, and each year we give away toys to the children through our Christmas Center,” statede Wildish.

Currently, the Salvation Army has Angel Trees stocked at the Walmart stores and in select businesses in Ellis County. 

People can take an angel and adopt a child. By doing so, these children will be able to receive a Christmas gift. 

In addition to the Angel Tree, the Salvation Army is also hosting its annual bell ringing program.

“If we don’t gather enough toys to support our Christmas program, then the money that we raised at Christmas time through the bell ringing will come in support and be able to supply additional toys for that.” shared Wildish. “It’s not uncommon for the Salvation Army, out of all the angels that we have each child, that we usually do not have enough toys to fill out our order each year. A portion of the money that we raise in ringing the bell, we take a portion of that money and we buy toys to supplement and provide Christmas for children. The money that’s left over after Christmas time, it helps us operate throughout the year. But people are donating for a particular purpose, and that is for Christmas to provide gifts for children at Christmas. That is certainly our number one focus.”

This holiday season, the organization is in need of volunteers for many areas of their programs, such as bell ringers and aid in wrapping presents.

To sign up and volunteer, visit  at or call the main office at 972-937-7727.

“We would love to have some groups that can come and help us. Maybe some churches, some vivid clubs, also families and companies. But also individuals if they will register as well.” said Wildish.