The Longmont Turkey Turnout donation drive is back for its 14th year of supplying local nonprofits with much-needed supplies for the holiday season.

The drive accepts donations of food, clothes and bicycles from Longmont residents. The items, which will be collected between 9 a.m. and noon Saturday, are donated to the OUR Center, Homeless Outreach Providing Encouragement (HOPE) and Bicycle Longmont’s Kids’ Holiday Bike Program.

Event organizer Scott Conlin started the Turkey Turnout in 2009 as a service opportunity for his family. Since then, the drive has blossomed into an annual staple for Longmont. In total, the event has collected more than 67,000 pounds of food, more than 20,000 pounds of clothes and more than 500 bikes.

“It started out as a neighborhood family project, and now it’s grown into more of a city-wide thing,” he said.

Conlin said local Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts troops are helping with the drive alongside a few churches and about 10 individual volunteers. Over the past two weeks, scouts and volunteers have taken paper grocery bags to the front porches and steps of 3,000 homes around Longmont for willing residents to fill.

The goal of this year’s drive is at least 100 bikes and at least 5,000 pounds of food, clothes and toiletries. Conlin said he thinks this goal is feasible, even with more people out of town on post-pandemic vacations.

“There’s a lot of momentum,” he said. “We’ve probably received 100 phone calls from people saying they didn’t get a bag and asking if they can still donate. I’m glad that people are so tuned in.”

Saturday morning, Turkey Turnout volunteers will retrieve bags with donated items and bring them to the 400 East Parking Lot on Kimbark Street to be sorted and weighed. Conlin called this the “fun part” of the drive, since residents often come out to greet the volunteers when their bags are picked up. Donations can also be dropped off in person before noon on Saturday at the Kimbark Street lot.

Conlin said the event has garnered a lot of support from the community, from Longmont residents embracing the tradition to the nonprofits benefitted by the donations.

“I think it pulls people closer together,” he said.

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Dana Cadey
2022-11-17 13:14:32
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