A line for a free turkey dinner began forming almost 12 hours before the birds were scheduled to be handed out in Windsor Friday morning.
Local businessman Joe Mikhail has donated the groceries every year for more than 10 years. About 500 bags filled with frozen turkey and the trimmings were given out starting at 10:30 a.m.
“We hope every year that it will be less, which means the community has less need, but it hasn’t changed,” he said.
The line of people stretched down Ouellette Avenue. Some were going to be alone on the holiday and said having the turkey meant a lot to them. All were thankful.
“It means so much,” said Allen O’Neil. “It’s very nice of the Mikhail company to do this. My hat goes off to all the volunteers.”
Many in line wouldn’t have a Christmas dinner without the giveaway.
“We can’t afford it,” said Sherry Thompson. “If it weren’t for this a lot of people, especially all of us, would be in a bad way.”
Mikhail admits the annual giveaway started from a selfish place. He wanted his children to know not everyone has a roof over their heads or a meal on the table every night like they did. He said having them take part really opened their eyes.
“They brought their friends and their friends came in and saw the world in a different way. I wanted to see that happen and there’s a need for it.”