Need, community response up for Carson City Turkey Drop |

Need, community response up for Carson City Turkey Drop

By Jessica Garcia

The Salvation Army serving Carson City and Douglas County held its annual Turkey Drop at Max Casino and received some extra help Friday afternoon thanks to willing community partners.

By 1 p.m., more than 400 turkeys had been donated during the drive-through event with a sudden flow from local partners such as Carson-Tahoe Health, Greater Nevada Credit Union and residents who dropped off checks, turkeys and side dishes for those in need this holiday season.

Christie Contreras, office coordinator for the Salvation Army, said the weather was cooperating and it was a great day for the drop.

“We are doing wonderful,” she said. “The community has pulled together, and they’ve donated more than we’ve had in the last few years at this time of day.”

However, the nonprofit has experienced a 248% increase in requests for food pantry services, she said.

“People last year who were donors are clients this year just because of the circumstances in the pandemic,” she said.

More seniors and high-risk clients are being added to the Salvation Army’s watch list this year for help for the holidays.

Extra volunteers are stepping up and offering their time, too, because they’re able to do so. Some of the Salvation Army’s officers have moved or are helping from other parts of Nevada or other states, including Capt. Dora Stearns, one of the newer corps officers helping to collect the turkeys Friday who recently moved from Olympia, Wash., Gary Matheus of Yerington and Jerry Jarmillo, all of whom waved at donors coming through the casino’s parking lot and thanking them on their way out.

The event on Friday was about 1,000 turkeys shy of the organization’s original goal to serve Carson City and Douglas County, so Carson Tahoe Health contributed $5,000 to purchase 200 turkeys.

“I think the main thing is we’re really grateful to the Salvation Army for the work that they do and our mission is to enhance the health and wellbeing of the communities we serve, and food is health, and we’re able to enhance health by partnering with other organizations that do good work in our community and take care of our neighbors, so we’re grateful to the Salvation Army,” Amy Hyne-Sutherland, director of community partnerships and legacy giving for Carson Tahoe Health, said.