Helping Families, One Turkey at a Time


Kitchener-Conestoga Rotary Club launches their 11th Annual Turkey Drive

As you sit down to enjoy your holiday dinner with friends and family, nearly 3,500 other families in Waterloo Region are also enjoying a turkey with all the fixings, because of the determination of the Kitchener-Conestoga Rotary Club.

In the coming months, as many of us begin rushing to put together the perfect turkey dinner, Jim Erb, past-chair of the Kitchener-Conestoga Rotary Club, is urging people to stop and think about those in our community who will struggle to provide food for their families this year.

“We just assume everyone can afford a turkey,” he said. “But there are some families that just can’t afford to do that.”

This year marks the 11th Annual Turkey Drive, hosted by the Kitchener-Conestoga Rotary Club in partnership with House of Friendship. The goal this year is to raise roughly $350,000 to provide food hampers and fresh turkeys to distribute to families in need during the holidays.

The food hampers are distributed through House of Friendship, and each one includes a voucher for a turkey. Recipients can pick-up their turkeys at one of two distribution sites—one in Kitchener, the other in Waterloo—over a 10-day period in December. That way they get a fresh turkey just in time for the holidays.

“We want people to feel like they belong to the community,” emphasized Jim. “This breaks down the barrier between those who struggle to feel like they belong.”

For the past decade, Jim said he has witnessed countless acts of generosity from people donating to the Turkey Drive. However, the most powerful moments are when past recipients return, not to pick up a turkey, but to donate and give back to the community that once helped them in the past. Even a small donation can go a long way in ensuring a family can enjoy a meal over the holidays.

“I think it reinforces that sense of belonging, that we’re all in this together as community,” Jim concluded.

To learn more about the Turkey Drive, or to make a donation, please go to