Cadian Hendricks of Arrow Lumber & Hardware and Shirley Moss, manager of the Port Townsend Food Bank, watched seven young men from Gray Wolf Ranch unload 400 frozen turkeys Monday in time to be …
Cadian Hendricks of Arrow Lumber & Hardware and Shirley Moss, manager of the Port Townsend Food Bank, watched seven young men from Gray Wolf Ranch unload 400 frozen turkeys Monday in time to be handed to food bank participants right before Thanksgiving.
Neither Hendricks nor Moss could remember how many years Arrow Lumber has been donating turkeys to the local food bank. Six? Seven? Eight?
“We were doing this during the recession, when things were tough for people,” Hendricks said, not remembering the exact year it all started. “This will never stop. It will still be a priority.
“We do this because it’s our mission. It’s just something we believe in,” Hendricks said of the business giving back to the community.
The turkey donation has become a tradition for Arrow Lumber, which also donates frozen turkeys to more than 10 other communities in the Puget Sound region where Arrow Lumber businesses are located, said Hendricks, who manages the store just outside Port Townsend.
The tradition was started by Arrow Lumber president and owner Barney Wagner, who used to come to Port Townsend to help unload the turkeys and potatoes himself.
Even when business wasn’t so good, back in 2009, Wagner said he wouldn’t cut back on donations.
“The man upstairs has blessed our company like you wouldn’t be believe,” Wagner told the Leader in 2009. That year, he supervised the unloading of 260 turkeys. That was up from 2008, when Arrow delivered 60 turkeys to the food bank in Port Townsend.
Moss recalled back in 2009 that if it weren’t for Arrow Lumber, the food bank would have had to buy turkeys, which would have cost a lot.
Hendricks asked Moss on Monday why she didn’t ask for potatoes this year.
“Because you do too much,” Moss told him. “I don’t need you to do potatoes, too.”
Moss also explained that she could get a good deal on potatoes and onions from Northwest Harvest.
Young men from Gray Wolf Ranch volunteered their time to help unload the turkeys and restack them at the food bank. Helping this year were Rex Marnell, Quinn Hassrick, Kasey Wyckoff, Julian Taylor, Jac Taylor, Nick Masi and Haven Bennette.
Arrow Lumber driver Michael Armstrong also helped unload the turkeys and carried the last box of turkeys into the food bank on Monday.
It’s not just people in the community who benefit from the generosity of Wagner, said Armstrong and Hendricks.
A year ago, Armstrong was diagnosed with cancer.
“They were there to help me out and made sure the premiums were paid,” Armstrong said, adding that he was grateful to be working for Arrow and Wagner because they are good to employees, not just the community.
Moss expected to hand out all 400 turkeys starting Monday when seniors were stopping by and continuing into Wednesday, when the food bank is open to families in need.