Man saved by turkey dinner delivery volunteer, 500 served at Community Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to give back to the Community and Devine’s Community Thanksgiving Dinner Chairmen Roger & Ofelia Pedroza and Lorenzo and Charlie Alvarado love hosting the annual event so that no one has to miss the holiday and can enjoy a home cooked turkey dinner and fellowship. Plates are delivered also to the homebound. One homebound man’s life was saved by the quick actions of volunteer Jason Ozer.
This year over 500 plates were served by 75+ volunteers in the hall at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Devine. Some were delivered to homebound residents.
One of those gentleman didn’t get to eat his Thanksgiving Dinner but the visit from the volunteer may have been life saving. “The volunteer, my nephew Jason Ozer rang the door bell and then called the number on the form for the resident, knowing the man was expecting the turkey meal to arrive. Jason got worried and peeked inside a window and saw the resident laying on the floor with blood on his face and ear, due to a fall. He called 9-1-1. Turns out the gentleman may have had a heart attack. Fortunately help was on the way, due to the quick and persistent actions of the concerned volunteer to locate the gentleman instead of walking away”, said Roger Pedroza, Co-Chairman of the Community Thanksgiving Day Dinner in Devine. “God works in mysterious ways.”
Volunteers gathered on Wednesday to help prepare as much as can be done the day before. “The volunteers cut up 200 pounds of potatoes to be mashed, the goods for 7 roasters of cornbread dressing and set up tables and chairs and any other prep work that could be done ahead of time,” said Co-Chair Roger Pedroza, also the head cook. Desserts served included 50 pies and a delicious carrot cake. Pedroza and crew cooked 22 boneless turkeys, approximately 11 pounds each, for at total of 242 pounds of turkey!
“We usually cook 40 turkeys but since we skipped last year due to my illness, and started out a little late this year, we only cooked 22 but it turned out perfect. We only advertised it in The Devine News and had a wonderful turnout at 500 people. Usually we advertise all over the county and radio and get 800 participants, but The Devine News must go far and wide as we drew 500 in just one week’s time!” said Pedroza.
“The donations also came in strong that week and at the event as well as the volunteers. We would like to thank all of our generous donors and volunteers, they were fantastic. Having started with what we had left over from prior years donations we were a little worried, but the people we so good to us and generous. God willing we will be up and running again next year and serving again. We are very thankful for all who helped, donated and came for great fellowship and Thanksgiving.”