West Ch­ester fam­ily serves those in need

A Thanks­giv­ing turkey on each ta­ble is Tons of Tur­keys’ Mis­sion with help from Ci­tyteam Min­istries

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Anne Neborak aneb­o­rak@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @An­nieNeb­o­rak on Twit­ter

CH­ESTER >> Rick and Fran­cie Warther were sit­ting around the Thanks­giv­ing ta­ble seven years ago with their fam­ily and de­cided that no one should go with­out a turkey on their ta­ble at Thanks­giv­ing. The fam­ily from West Ch­ester started Tons of Tur­keys at www.ton­sof­t­urkeys.org. Over the years the non­profit has grown.

In seven years they have do­nated 10,000 tur­keys. On Satur­day they vol­un­teered to de­liver tur­keys and bas­kets of food to those in need with Ci­tyteam Min­istries. They brought their nieces, Sophia Tru­ran and Rachel Vel­lu­tato and their brother, Kevin Tru­ran to help out.

“This is the third year we do­nated 1,000 tur­keys to the Ci­tyteam Min­istries,” said Fran­cie Warther. “We knew that the Ci­tyteam Min­istries was strug­gling to get tur­keys. We donate 500 to the Ch­ester County Food Bank. It’s im­por­tant to give back and this is the time to give back. We want as many fam­i­lies as pos­si­ble to have a fan­tas­tic Thanks­giv­ing. We just couldn’t imag­ine peo­ple not hav­ing tur­keys on their ta­ble at Thanks­giv­ing.”

“We have a di­rect mail cam­paign to fam­ily, friends and small busi­nesses,” said Rick Warther. “Land­scap­ers, den­tists, plum­bers and oth­ers donate. Peo­ple want to give ev­ery year, be it $1,000 or

$10. It all helps.”

For the Warthers, de­liv­er­ing the tur­keys to those in need was hum­bling and eye-open­ing.

“The peo­ple are so grate­ful for what you do,” said Fran­cie Warther. “By de­liv­er­ing the tur­keys to those in need, we had our boots on the ground and we had a chance to ex­pe­ri­ence and see the real sense of com­mu­nity of here. It’s a way to con­nect the dots.”

Nine hun­dred boxes of food and tur­keys were de­liv­ered on Satur­day by vol­un­teers.

Thirty-four tur­keys will be cooked to give those in need a restaurant-style full meal and some food to take home on Thanks­giv­ing, ac­cord­ing to John Clif­ford who heads the Food Ser­vice.

Tavia Isaac, who won Food Net­work’s “Chopped Ju­nior” award this year, will use her tal­ents in the kitchen to help out.

“In­side each box is ev­ery­thing for a com­plete Thanks­giv­ing meal, from the stuff­ing to the vegetables and hope­fully left­overs,” said Kwinn Tucker, direc­tor of Ci­tyteam Min­istries. “We started de­liv­er­ing 10 years ago. Vol­un­teers de­liver to 300 fam­i­lies. Many fam­i­lies come and pick them up. Fam­i­lies reg­is­ter in Oc­to­ber. There is lots of work be­hind the scenes to make this hap­pen. We were strug­gling get­ting enough tur­keys be­fore the Warthers fam­ily came along. Their do­na­tion helps a lot.

“This whole day is an out­pour­ing of com­mu­nity

sup­port­ing peo­ple. Even if some­one doesn’t have enough to give, they vol­un­teer. It’s beau­ti­ful to see how God pro­vides and the good­ness that comes from the heart. Peo­ple show up more and more need­ing help ev­ery year, but the vol­un­teers are gen­er­ous and we count on them. We re­ceive no fund­ing from any government agency but we al­ways have enough.”

Mark Kropiewnicki of West Ch­ester comes ev­ery year with a group from Ss. Simon and Jude Par­ish.

“I have done this the last cou­ple of years at Thanks­giv­ing and Christ­mas,” Kropiewnicki said. “It’s a father-and-son out­ing. It’s a way to teach our kids what life is like be­yond the sub­urbs.”

Dan Costa of Wilm­ing­ton, Delaware, who re­cently lived in Me­dia, feels by vol­un­teer­ing he is giv­ing back be­cause oth­ers have been there for him. He brought both his daugh­ters to help out.

“I am hon­ored to be able

to help peo­ple,” Costa said. “I had peo­ple in my life that took care of me when I couldn’t. I’m grate­ful for what has been given to me. I like to pass it on.”

“It is life-chang­ing to be a part of some­thing big­ger than your­self,“said Tucker, as she looked around the room at the many vol­un­teers and res­i­dents.

Tur­keys and food will be given out again on Dec. 17 for Christ­mas. If you want to vol­un­teer to de­liver tur­keys you can reg­is­ter at www.ci­tyteam.org/turkey­drive/.


Fran­cie and Richard Warther of West Ch­ester do­nated 1,000 tur­keys to Ci­tyteam Min­istries in Ch­ester and 500 to the Ch­ester County Food Bank. This is the third year their non­profit Tons of Tur­keys or­ga­ni­za­tion do­nated tur­keys to Ci­tyteam Min­istries. They have do­nated tur­keys for seven years.


Brian Stafford and Gio­vanny Can­de­lario, both mem­bers of Ci­tyteam Min­istries, help stack boxes.


At left, Rowan Costa, 10, puts a turkey in the bin for pick up at Ci­tyteam Min­istries. She lived in Me­dia and her fam­ily re­cently moved to Wilm­ing­ton, Del.

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