Archived Story

Giving thanks and turkey

Published 10:21am Tuesday, November 24, 2009

By JESSICA SIEFF
Niles Daily Star

Businesses large and small are getting in the holiday spirit and continue to give back to their communities, with just a couple days to Thanksgiving.

That includes Family Video, which will be distributing turkeys to select families in Niles.
Continuing “its tradition of donating turkeys and hams to families in need this holiday season,” the family-owned company with more than 600 stores announced it would be donating 24,000 turkeys and hams during Thanksgiving and Christmas “as a way to give back to the communities that have embraced and supported its stores.”

Each store is given a total of 40 turkeys (and/or hams) – 20 for Thanksgiving and 20 for Christmas, meaning a total of 40 area families will be given the gift of a little less to worry about when it comes to their holiday feasts.

“The way it works is,” explained Shannon Conely, district manager for the North Central, Ind. area. “We usually get in touch with either a school or church.”

The identities of those families or individuals to benefit from the video store’s gift are usually kept confidential or semi-private, Conely said. Once recipients are chosen, employees will often meet them at the church or school the company has consulted to hand the turkeys out.

“Over the last 10 years, our employees have delivered more than 150,000 turkeys and hams to local families who need assistance,” said Keith Hoogland, president of Family Video. “To think that your local video store has that kind of impact in the community is powerful. Each year, we get notes of thanks from churches and families. That’s how we know we’re making a difference.”

The story behind the giveaway is a longstanding tradition, according to the company, in which the company’s founder and CEO Charlie Hoogland gave each of his employees at a previous company a turkey for their holiday dinner.

A holiday gift one year turned into a now 40-year tradition.

“Charlie continued the tradition and turned it into something bigger,” the company said in a statement. “An opportunity for the company and its employees to express their gratitude toward the community in a meaningful way.”

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