For thirty five years, Norman Oliver, has led an effort in Wilmington to organize a holiday turkey giveaway to assist families and seniors. Once again this year Oliver is took the effort statewide with the goal of providing 5,000 families with turkeys in the City of Wilmington, New Castle, Kent and Sussex Counties. This was by far the biggest and boldest goal to date for Oliver after starting 35 years ago with feeding four homeless men under the bridge in Wilmington.
“For more than three decades, Our Youth Inc. and Nor Enterprises have fed thousands of families and seniors for the Thanksgiving holiday,” said Oliver. “This year we were able to take this effort statewide again because of the support of numerous companies and organizations including our lead sponsor Food Lion. Each year the number of supporters continues to grow and this year,
For the third year, the Greater Milford Boys & Girls Club was selected by Stormin’s Turkey Giveaway. Tod Van Eyken, Executive Director of the Milford Boys and Girls Club says that the donation of 100 turkeys allowed the Club to provide food for some of their families who may not have been able to afford a turkey for Thanksgiving.
“Families signed up for the turkey giveaway,” Mr. Van Eyken said. “It is an excellent program and is supported by the Jefferson Awards among other groups. We are pleased that we are able to help 100 of our families enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner that includes a turkey since many of our families are struggling to provide the basics. This is an opportunity for us to help take at least one concern away during this Holiday season.”
Norman “Stormin” Oliver is a Delaware native who grew up in Wilmington’s Southbridge neighborhood with his four brothers and four sisters. The neighborhood where he grew up was rough and, after two years of attending Wilmington High School, Mr. Oliver was transferred to Newark High School after desegregation, where he played high school. A coach at the school nicknamed him “Stormin’ Norman” and the name has remained with him. He attended Delaware State University where he received several awards for community service. He eventually earned a graduate degree in social work and was a Wilmington City Councilman for 12 years.
Mr. Oliver began the Turkey Drive and Giveaway by delivering meals to the homeless who lived under area bridges. Today, the turkey drive has grown to the point more than 5,000 turkeys are donated and used to feed more than 30,000 people throughout the state. More than 30 individuals and organizations provide support for the Turkey Drive each year.
In addition to Food Lion as the lead sponsor, other partners included the Farnan Law Firm, the Jefferson Awards Foundation, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware, Charter School of Wilmington Jefferson Council, Leroy A. Tice Esquire, P.A., Breakthru Beverage Delaware, The Buccini/Pollin Group, EDIS, Red Clay Consolidated School District, Christina School District, United HealthCare, St. Elizabeth School, Tower Hill School Jefferson Council, Connections, Community Presbyterian Church, The Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay, United Way of Delaware, Sonny & Pam Vaccaro, JFK Entertainment, Duffy’s Hope, The Masons, Dependable Construction, Delaware State University, Capital School District, The Monday Club, The Honorable Hanifa Shabazz, The Honorable Bill West, The Honorable David Genshaw, The Honorable Robin Christiansen, The Honorable Bryan Shupe, The Honorable John Embert III, The Honorable Justin King, The Honorable Michael Purzycki, The Honorable John Carney, The Honorable Matt Meyer and New Castle County Government, The Honorable Tom Carper, The Honorable Lisa Blunt Rochester, the Wilmington City Police and the Delaware State Police.”
Oliver urges citizens to participate and track this year’s statewide Stormin’s Turkey Giveaway through Facebook at Stormin’s Annual Turkey Drive Giveaway, or on Twitter @Turkey Drive 2017.
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