Police officers bring Thanksgiving to families

WICHITA, Kansas – What’s Thanksgiving without a turkey?

“Turkey naturally, for thanksgiving, dessert, a pie, potatoes, and all the fixings,” said Executive Director of Union Rescue Mission Denny Bender.

Union Rescue Mission helps shelter and feed Wichita’s homeless year round, but for more than a decade now they’ve been working with WPD to find families in need of a Thanksgiving dinner.

“Because the officers patrol their neighborhoods, they know their particular situation,” Bender said.

“The people that I put on the list, I work part time at the Lord’s Diner, they’re good people,” said Officer Roger Bieberle of his recommendations.  “They’re trying hard, they take care of their kids.”

Bieberle delivered four of the 100 boxes on Tuesday.

“There’s your Thanksgiving dinner,” he said to one recipient.

“That’s awesome!” said Kelly Turner when she was given her box.

Each officer delivers the meals with a member of Union Rescue’s New Beginning’s program.

“They’re on the road to recovery.  They get to witness the joy that delivering a box of holiday food brings to a family,” Bender said.

Officers, volunteers, and recipients agree, the program is a worthwhile one.

“It helps us out a lot.  People that don’t have, couldn’t get as much as what we’re going to get here,” said Turner.

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