Williamson County resident Laura Turner, best known as a community preservationist, introduced James to students at Berry’s Chapel Preschool in Franklin on Tuesday.
James, Turner’s trusted turkey friend, sat contentedly in her lap, feathers unruffled as children lined up to pet him.
They giggled as James gobbled while Turner read, what she calls his favorite story, “Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving.”
As she carefully removed the 6-month-old turkey from his cage to greet the children, Turner taught them about the domesticated turkey’s farm life.
Inquisitive 3-year old Jude Herndon asked if turkeys could fly. Turner explained that although James is content to peck on the ground at the farm, wild turkeys are able to soar.
Preschool director Briana Froud said the children were excited to have Turner continue her 30-year tradition of visiting the school with turkeys in tow.
“We felt that we could continue our tradition safely this year,” Froud said. We have a large space to accommodate our classes in shifts. Mrs. Turner was excited to come, and we were excited to have her.”
Turner said she’s “very grateful that with an abundance of caution, the turkeys and I were able to teach another lesson, even in this pandemic.”
One Generation Away food distribution nonprofit
As the season of thankfulness transitions into the season of giving, there are opportunities around Williamson County to give to charitable organizations focused on serving families in need. Many organizations are also looking for volunteers.
One Gen Away food distribution nonprofit is partnering with Menu Makers Catering to give a Thanksgiving meal to families in need. To purchase a meal for a family, contact menumakercatering.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The nonprofit is also collecting food for its food bank, including canned soups, green beans and corn, and macaroni and cheese. The nonprofit also accepts monetary donations.
Upcoming food distributions nclude:
- Nov. 21, Centennial High School, 5050 Mallory Lane in Franklin from 9 -11 a.m.
- Dec. 5, Plaza Mariachi, 3955 Nolensville Pike in Nashville from 9-11 a.m.
The nonprofit welcomes volunteers for its Saturday food distributions.
For more information, see onegenaway.com, call 615-58-7413 or email email@example.com. The nonprofit is located at 104 Southeast Pkwy #300, Franklin.
GraceWorks Ministries nonprofit and food pantry
GraceWorks Ministries nonprofit, 104 Southeast Parkway in Franklin, is accepting brand-new gifts for children ages 0 to 18, or cash, for its annual The Manger Christmas gift program. The nonprofit also needs non-perishable food items for its food pantry.
With a decrease in volunteers due to coronavirus, the organization is urgently seeking volunteers for the food pantry and The Manger Christmas gift program. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to volunteer.
For more information or to donate, visit graceworksministries.net or call 615-794-9055.
Williamson County Homeless Alliance
The Williamson County Homeless Alliance, formed in 2019, is accepting monetary donations for its emergency shelter in churches and hotels, which operates on nights that dip to 32 degrees and below. Since Jan. 1, through its partnership with Franklin Community Development and Franklin First United Methodist Church, the alliance has provided over 1,000 nights of emergency shelter to those in need in Williamson County.
For more information, visit the organization’s Facebook page at WCHA or contact Pastor Kevin Riggs at email@example.com or call 615-440-7553.
Franktown Open Hearts children’s nonprofit
Franktown Open Hearts will launch its Festival of Lights Nov. 26. The group’s largest annual fundraiser runs 5 to 9 p.m. daily through Dec. 26, at the Williamson County Ag Expo Park in Franklin. The cost is $25 per car. To buy tickets, visit franktownlights.com.
The nonprofit is also looking for families and volunteers to participate in its annual “Shopping Event” on Dec. 12 at 9 a.m. at ClearView Baptist Church, 537 Franklin Rd, Franklin. Volunteers will be paired with students to help complete Christmas shopping for their families. After shopping, volunteers and students will return to the church for a Christmas feast, pictures and gift wrapping.
To volunteer: https://franktownopenhearts.com/volunteer/.
Franktown Open Hearts is a non-profit organization committed to the success of Franklin’s inner-city youth by providing Christ-centered mentoring through weekly vocational education and experiences that prepare youth for the future. For information: franktownopenhearts.com.
The Well Outreach in Spring Hill nonprofit and food bank
The Well Outreach in Spring Hill is accepting $10 Kroger gift cards, canned goods, new gloves and hats, and financial donations at springhillwell.org.
Walk-up volunteer orientations are held Wednesdays at 2:30 p.m. at the nonprofit location, 5306 Main Street, Spring Hill.
The Well Outreach is a food ministry serving Williamson and Maury countries through a food pantry, mobile food giveaways distributing 20,000 pounds of food at a time, JetPack Weekend Food Bags for at-risk students, and feeding at-risk students during COVID-19 as part of the Galilee Food Pack Program.
For information, visit springhillwell.org, contact executive director Shelly Sassen at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 615-302-9355.
Kerri Bartlett covers issues affecting families, children and government in Williamson County. She can be reached at email@example.com, 615-308-8324 or @keb1414 on Twitter.