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Unlikely donor gifts 300 turkeys to Bainbridge families

Monday the Colins Family Mortuary hosted its annual turkey drive for the 8th year.
Thanksgiving giveaway
Posted at 9:46 PM, Nov 20, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-21 11:39:56-05
  • Families in the city of Bainbridge had the opportunity to grab a free turkey during the Collins Family Mortuary's annual turkey drive.
  • Giveaways like this help community members in a big way as reports from the USDA show a portion of the city listed as a food desert.
  • Watch the story to find out why unlikey donors are inspired to give back to the community.


Not your ordinary turkey giveaway.

The most unique thing about Monday night's giveaway isn't the fact that there are 300 free turkeys up for grabs but where those turkeys are coming from.

The Collins Family Mortuary hosted their annual turkey giveaway Monday.

By 4:15 in the afternoon one hundred neighbors could be seen in line ready to receive a Thanksgiving staple for free.

I rode along with the owner to pick up what we originally thought would be 250 turkeys for neighbors.

"We're headed to Walmart to pick up 250 turkeys. How does it feel to know you're grabbing that many for the community?” asked WTXL reporter AJ Douglas.

"I feel great. The community has been such a blessing and support to us. I don't take the families for granted that call upon us in the midst of death,” said Darrell Watkins, owner, Collins Family Mortuary.

This giveaway is meeting a big need in the community.

Digging into the issue here.

I looked up a map on the USDA's website. 

That green area of the map represents Bainbridge neighbors who are more than 1 to 10 miles away from a supermarket. That area in the red marks those who live 1 to 20 miles away from a grocery store which can be deemed a food desert.

While a Mortuary may be the last place people think of when it comes to getting a meal this holiday season. 

General manager Zachary Frasier says he too knows how it feels to wait in a free food line.

"There were times where my mom couldn't afford to do things like this. There's been times when I've seen my mom struggle to decide what meaning would be placed on the table,” according to Zachary Frazier, general manager, Collins Family Mortuary.

"A lot of time funeral home directors are referred to as [bold] as if we're always looking for death. Like we're always looking for a profit,: according to Frazier. “But the thing is we have a giving heart too."

Watkins said it's just what good neighbors do.

"It's not about me, it's not about the staff. It's about making sure the community is taken care of during [ a sometimes] difficult season,” said Watkins.

It's safe to say all the turkeys are gone and 300 hundred families have been served making the annual turkey drive a success.