Fort Wayne & NE Indiana News

The latest positive news written by residents and organizations in our community.

Franciscan Center Still Needs 1,300 Turkeys And Hams By November 21 For Turkey Tuesday

The Franciscan Center announces today that it expects to again provide over 1,500 turkeys to clients on its annual “Turkey Tuesday”, the Tuesday before Thanksgiving that its Food Pantry is open on November 21, but has only received around 200 thus far.

At its start, Turkey Tuesday was just another service day at the Franciscan Center, distributing about 30 turkeys. The effort has grown into an event of its own over the past 18 years: “our largest usage day for our Food Pantry is always the Tuesday before Thanksgiving,” explains Tony Ley, executive director of The Franciscan Center. “We quadruple our weekly service numbers in one day. Men, women and children will line up around the building at 4:30 a.m. in the cold of late November even though we do not open for distribution until 9:00 a.m.”

The Franciscan Center relies completely on donations from the community to make this annual event a reality and needs help filling its freezers with the final 1,300 to meet expected demand.

“For my family,” explains Sally Ley, founder of the Franciscan Center, “memories of Thanksgiving often focus on family and friends gathered around the dinner table, enjoying the wonderful feast prepared them. For many of our clients, this is more of a dream than a reality.”

Those wanting to help with Turkey Tuesday have two options: drop off turkeys or donate $14.40 for the organization to partner with area suppliers to purchase a turkey or ham at a discounted price. “We need nearly the equivalent of $25,000-worth of turkeys to meet our expected need,” stresses Tony. “A gift of $144 will help purchase 10 turkeys; $1,440 will fund 100 turkeys. Please think of us as you start shopping this week for your own Thanksgiving celebration and consider purchasing a 2nd turkey for someone else’s family table.”

Drop off sites for turkeys, hams and cash donations include the following:

  1. The Franciscan Center’s main offices at 1015 E Maple Grove Avenue from 9a – 4p M-F and 8a – 11a on Saturday.
  2. The Franciscan Center Family Thrift Store at 925 E Coliseum between Parnell and Clinton streets from 9a – 8p M-F and 9a – 6p on Saturday.

You can also call the Franciscan Center at 260-744-3977; send a check to 1015 E Maple Grove Ave, Fort Wayne, 46806 with “Turkey Tuesday” in the memo line; or visit our website at to make an online donation.

“We will even arrange pickup of turkeys or hams if needed; please help make a holiday for others on November 21,” notes Tony. “And we can always use volunteers that morning to join personalities from STAR883 and students from Lakewood Park Christian School in Auburn help distribute hot chocolate to those waiting in line. Tuesday, November 21 is expected to be another cold one!”