Thanksgiving Turkey Drive

By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   November 16, 2017
Senior Ticktockers Alexandria Marx, Paige Maho, and Clare Kelly

On October 28, nearly 100 teenagers from the Santa Barbara Chapter of the National Charity League (NCL), partnered up with the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County to kick off the Foodbank’s annual Thanksgiving Turkey Drive. The teens, also known as “Ticktockers,” helped organize a donation to the Foodbank of 750 pounds of food for the holidays, more than double the amount they donated last year.   

The National Charity League is a philanthropic mother/daughter – not a fundraising – organization and gives to the local community through volunteerism. NCL membership begins when young women (Ticktockers) are in the 7th grade and continues through the students’ senior year of high school; essentially a six-year commitment to the community. NCL Ticktockers and their mothers (Patronesses) make a commitment to work a set number of community service hours every year at one of the NLC’s designated philanthropies. On average the Santa Barbara National Charity League has 22 young women in each class, many of whom are from Montecito. These Ticktockers will average more than 290 hours each during their six years of volunteering in the Santa Barbara community and beyond. 

Ticktockers labeling grocery bags for Postal Carrier Food Drive

Erik Talkin, CEO of the Foodbank, provided an overview of the organization and its presence in Santa Barbara. “Just this morning, a well-dressed lady and her daughter came by and she said, ‘I don’t have any food to feed my daughter.’ This is not the face you would normally encounter picking up food at the Foodbank, but it just confirms that a lot of people are struggling, even in our wealthy community,” he said. Talkin shared statistics stating that 47 percent of the students at SBCC are on food stamps, with a similar statistic at UCSB. 

Following Talkin’s presentation, the Ticktockers rotated through four areas where they toured the facility, labeled 13,000 grocery bags for the annual Postal Carrier Food Drive, sorted and weighed food, and learned about volunteer opportunities at the Foodbank.

The Foodbank provides food for more than 300 nonprofits, allowing the agencies to focus on other social issues rather than run their own food drives. The Foodbank is able to create eight meals with every dollar donated; last year, it distributed just less than 10 million pounds of food. The Foodbank also reaches the community through its different distributions and programs, providing groceries to low-income senior citizens, education to families and individuals, and free nutritious meals to children weekdays during the summer, among others. 

“Ticktocker Day is an opportunity for the entire chapter of Ticktockers to volunteer together and develop leadership skills and have fun, while learning about a facility in town that is providing food to one in four local folks who would otherwise go hungry, said Kim Cantin, the organizer of the event who is also a patroness. “This year, the Ticktockers were able to jumpstart the holidays with 750 pounds of donated food.” 


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