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A holiday success: 1,200 turkeys donated during Turkey Tuesday

Turkey Tuesday turkeys
Posted at 8:56 PM, Nov 14, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-14 22:56:59-05

BILLINGS — Through a heartwarming display of community generosity, 1,200 turkeys and hundreds of pounds of Thanksgiving sides were donated to Family Service during Q2's annual Turkey Tuesday food and toy drive.

In addition to the food, dozens of unwrapped toys were collected for Toys for Tots, helping Billings kids find toys under their trees this Christmas.

The turkeys and sides will be packed into turkey boxes, which Family Service will donate to more than 1,000 community members in need of food assistance this holiday season.

Family Service is one of the oldest nonprofit organizations in the state of Montana and its services assist 1 in 11 Billings residents.

“The need is huge and it's growing so much right now in our community," said Felicia Burg, development director for Family Service.

Burg said Family Service had originally planned to offer 1,000 turkey boxes, but the sign-up sheet filled up so quickly, they hoped to offer hundreds more.

Donations poured in throughout the day, showing a community going above and beyond.

“I hate to see kids go hungry," said Wendell Overlie, an 82-year-old Marine Corps veteran.

While Overlie is now homebound, he wanted to find a way to donate a $600 check, split between Family Service and Toys for Tots. Q2 General Manager Justin Martin made a Turkey Tuesday house call to Overlie.

Overlie says he works to save money throughout the year to be able to donate to those in need.

“I just want to give something back," Overlie said. "There's lots of good people in the world."

Veteran Wendell Overlie with Q2 General Manager Justin Martin