By Jessica Bruha
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — Several years ago, three Oklahoma lawyers came together to address a worldwide issue and focus on battling it locally in order to give back to their communities.
This year, in five different communities on five different dates before Thanksgiving, a nonprofit those three lawyers put together will distribute around 5,000 frozen turkeys for families struggling with hunger.
Norman attorney David Bernstein, Oklahoma City Attorney Noble McIntyre and Tulsa attorney Hugh Robert started “Lawyers Fighting Hunger” in order to give back to their communities and try to help out with a big problem. The nonprofit raises money to purchase turkeys and give them away to families in need.
“We thought we should come together and come up with a way to give back,” Bernstein said. “Hunger is a very big problem, not only in Oklahoma, but around the world.”
Forming the charity Lawyers Fighting Hunger, the three thought it would be a good vehicle for people to make tax deductible donations and give back to the community, Bernstein said.
“People have trouble with hunger all the time, but to have a nice Thanksgiving meal just seems to lift everyone’s spirit and we find it’s very rewarding when we give them away,” he said. “Seeing the smile on people’s faces when they get this big turkey that they can cook up for Thanksgiving is really rewarding.”
Each year it gets bigger, too.
The first year it was only Norman, Oklahoma City, and Tulsa. Last year, El Reno was added and this year Mustang was added, he said.
“The good thing is, wherever money is raised, it stays in that location. So all the money we’ve raised in Cleveland County is going to stay in Cleveland County,” Bernstein said.
Law offices, fire departments, members of the military and other volunteers will help distribute the turkeys to families this year through a partnership with the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. This year the nonprofit raised around $70,000 to purchase the turkeys.
Free food and drinks also will be available during the distribution.
“We give away hot dogs and hamburgers and drinks and kind of make it a festive occasion. Get the military and the fire department involved, they help us give out the turkeys so it’s kind of a big community event,” Bernstein said.
Turkeys are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis at the following locations:
· Oklahoma City: Nov. 20 at McIntyre Law Offices, 8601 S. Western Ave.
· Norman: Nov. 21 at Bernstein Law Office, 104 W. Gray St.
· El Reno: Nov. 22 at El Reno Fire Department, 2707 Faith Ave.
· Mustang: Nov. 25 at Mustang Fire Department, 465 West SH 152
Registration at Norman, Oklahoma City and Mustang will begin at 11 a.m. with distribution from noon until 2 p.m. Registration at El Reno begins at 9:30 a.m. and in Tulsa at 5:30 p.m. One turkey will be given away per family until all the turkeys are gone.
According to a press release from the Regional Food Bank, one in six Oklahomans struggles with hunger every day.
“The majority of those served by the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma are children, seniors living on fixed incomes and working families,” said Rodney Bivens, executive director of the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. “These turkeys will provide a valuable source of protein that is often sacrificed when Oklahomans have to choose between paying rent and utilities or buying food.”
For more information about Lawyers Fighting Hunger, visit www.layersagainsthunger.com. For more information about the Regional Food Bank, visit regionalfoodbank.org.
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