Midwest Independent Retailers Foundation’s
Annual “High Five” Turkey Drive
Every year, the Midwest Independent Retailers Foundation Turkey Drive Committee pledges to put a turkey on the Thanksgiving table of more than 6,000 families throughout Michigan, Ohio and Illinois that may not otherwise enjoy this special meal.
Since 1980, the Midwest Independent Retailers Foundation and its members have provided thanksgiving turkeys to needy families and each year the list of charitable groups asking for turkeys grows. There are more requests than we could ever fill. We need your help!
Thanksgiving is a time to reflect, give thanks, and help those who are less fortunate. We are asking you to pitch in. A $300 donation to the Midwest Independent Retailers Foundation Turkey Drive will provide turkeys for 20 families. When you consider that each turkey serves about 12 people, that equals enough Thanksgiving turkey for 240 people. You can also donate food items (canned, boxed or bottled) or other products such as clothing or household items, above and beyond – or in lieu of – your monetary donation.
This is a charitable event and all donations are tax deductible! Please see your tax advisor for guidance on your specific tax situation. Receipt available upon request.
It is truly heartwarming to be a part of our Annual Turkey Drive. To donate, please click the “Donate Now” link above or click here for a mail-in donation form.
MIRA’s Annual Turkey Drive Went a Bit Differently Because of COVID-19
Compared to the High Five Turkey Drive’s of the past, 2020 brought a quiet morning to the Motown Snack Foods warehouse in Detroit. “We had less volunteers this year,” said Andrea Hesano, MIRA Events and Publication Assistant. “Companies like DTE and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan typically send 20 to 40 volunteers, but because COVID-19, they weren’t able to join us.”
However, nearly enough people helped distribute thousands of turkeys and other items at last month’s Annual Turkey Drive. “Our board members and their friends and family helped,” said Hesano. “We also had staff members there filling up trucks and cars with turkeys, pop and snack items.”
Due to COVID-19 there was a struggle getting turkeys which prevented MIRA from giving out the more than 6,000 Turkeys they normally do. “Demand was higher than the supply and the cost increased by 13%,” said Ricki Wines, MIRA Event Coordinator/Publications Sales. “However, we were able to secure the turkeys months in advance. Our goal was to keep our volunteers and the members of charities safe while pickups took place. All the volunteers wore the proper PPE and maintained social distancing. We asked our charities picking up turkeys and other donated products to remain in their vehicles at all times.”
A total of 5,000 turkeys were given out this year and 43 volunteers attended the Detroit drive.
Ed Weglarz’s granddaughter drove in from New York to help her grandfather who was mourning the loss of his wife Merriam. “I just wanted be here for my family and especially for my grandfather and help out at the Turkey Drive,” said Caraline Weglarz.
In addition to the smaller group of volunteers, everyone was wearing masks and social distancing as much as possible. Hand sanitizer bottles were on hand as well as rubber gloves. “We have been doing everything we can to follow COVID-19 protocols,” said Hesano.
Frizel Stanley has been picking up items for a local Detroit charity from MIRA’s Turkey Drive for the last 10 years. “The entire operation is moving so smoothly,” said Stanley. “It is quieter and is running so nicely. It’s seem so much less chaotic. It is actually nice to have less people here.”
Many organizations make the High Five Turkey Drive possible each year, including Motown Snack Foods, Sherwood Food Distributors, Pepsi, Faygo, Socks Galore Wholesale, as well as media outlets that played our public service announcements including WHMI, Channel 10 and iheart Radio.
The Ohio Turkey Drive took place about a week prior to the distributions in Detroit. It was held at Corner Market in Cleveland, Ohio. “We gave out 350 turkeys and had more than 20 volunteers help us,” said Paul Elhindi, chairman of the MIRA board.
There was also a MIRA Turkey Drive in Lansing, Michigan that went smoothly as well.
MIRA also provided turkeys to 13 other locations throughout the lower state of Michigan that conducted their own turkey drives.
High Five Turkey Drive Retail & Community Outreach
Help us raise money at your registers and give back to the charity of your choice!
Your business can generate a significant donation for Midwest Independent Retailers Foundation’s Annual High Five Turkey Drive by participating in our paper turkey program! Paper turkeys are a fun, simple way to raise funds while sending a message to your customers and the community that you care about feeding the hungry. Best of all, 100% of the money you raise will go toward purchasing turkeys for a charity of your choice!
Here’s how the paper turkey program works:
- Midwest Independent Retailers Foundation will send you a starter package which includes a poster to place in your store to raise awareness and turkey hand cut-outs.
- Place the paper turkeys at the register and have your cashiers encourage customers to buy a paper turkey for a suggested donation of $1, $5 or even $10.
- Every $20 you raise buys you one turkey towards your charity.
- The purchaser can sign the High Five paper turkey and we encourage you to display it prominently in the store. Paper turkeys can be displayed on walls, windows, or hung from the ceiling to generate maximum awareness.
- Program runs from September 1st – November 11th.
If your business is interested in selling the High Five Paper Turkeys to benefit the MIRA High Five Turkey Drive, please complete this form and fax to (248) 671-9610 or call MIRA at (800) 666-6233 and we will mail you a starter packet!
To make a donation without participating in the Turkey Hands Program, click here.