Matthew Bradley, a 7th grader at Circleville Middle School, got inspired by his school’s reading of the book “Wonder”, and he decided to do an act of kindness. “It was going to be 50 turkeys at first, but that was going to be $1000, so I lowered it to 12. I ended up with 100,” Bradley said. He calls the project, “Roundtown Turkeys”.
Jonathan Davis, Superintendent of Circleville City Schools, said, “ I’ve been so impressed with the kind hearts of our students and their desire to help.”
“I was trying to help people that may not be able to buy a Thanksgiving meal,” Bradley continued. “I thought it would be a good idea to give those people a turkey dinner.”
Bradley started by placing donation boxes at the Berger Hospice offices, Constant Care, and Alan Elementary School in Chillicothe. He then raised more money by talking with the Circleville Sunrise Rotary Club and Noon Rotary Club. Friends, and family also donated.
Bradley wasn’t sure how to distribute the turkeys, so he sought help from Pickaway County Community Action Organization (PICCA). Executive Director, Andrew Binegar and Emergency Services Coordinator, Amy Robinson contributed to the effort in more than one way. First, they were able to stretch the raised dollars by working with the local WalMart for a break on turkey prices in light of the good cause. Second, they helped Bradley distribute the turkeys to existing clientele in need.
Robinson said, “ We were able to give one hundred turkeys to folks over in the Williamsport area. We distributed through the Williamsport United Methodist Church’s food pantry, who is a distribution point for the Pickaway United Pantries Program.” Robinson added, “ The impact of having 100 Turkeys to distribute is significant, and I see it as two fold. We serve a lot of seniors who have worked their whole lives and are living on a very tight monthly budget and simply could not afford the added expense of going out and purchasing a Thanksgiving dinner. The second impact is that of Matthew Bradley. What a wonderful gesture for a young person to decide to make a difference in the lives of others around him. Matthew was able experience the joy that comes with helping others less fortunate. He is proof that one person, no matter what age, can make a difference in the lives of people around them.”
When asked how other people could help PICCA’s mission, Robinson, said, “So many times this time of year, people open up their hearts and their pocketbooks to help those in need. But what is most important to remember, this need exists year round. Through Mid-Ohio Food Bank, we are able to distribute free fresh produce on the second and last Thursday of each month. We have distributed over 100,000 pounds of free produce this year alone in Pickaway County. We can always use help sorting and passing out food. If you are interested in volunteering please reach out to PICCA and we can arrange for you to volunteer.“
Bradley said that he wanted to make sure the turkeys stayed local, and he was glad he could help out the Williamsport food bank, which had no turkeys at all. Turkeys were distributed on Friday, November 17th. The whole project took about 3 weeks from start to finish. Bradley said, “I felt pretty good because I’m getting out to people that are getting to eat.”