PHOENIX (Nov. 18, 2017) — U-Haul Team Members donated a Company-record 958 turkeys to benefit the St. Mary’s Food Bank annual turkey drive, helping put Thanksgiving meals on the tables of more hungry Arizona families.
Team Members donated 855 last year, but this year managed to best that effort by nearly 100 birds. Gobble, gobble!
Every year for nearly three decades, U-Haul management has gifted Thanksgiving turkeys to full-time workers and moonlighters across the entire network. It’s a remarkable gesture that U-Haul Team Members and their families greatly appreciate and await every November.
In the Valley, hundreds of Team Members choose to re-gift their turkeys to those who are less fortunate. The donated turkeys from the U-Haul Midtown Phoenix Campus, Technical Center in Tempe, Glendale Manufacture Company and Contact Center (which includes many work-from-home Team Members) are pooled and sent to St. Mary’s, a longtime charity partner of U-Haul.
St. Mary’s Super Saturday turkey drive, held the weekend before Thanksgiving, has become one of the most covered events by Phoenix media. U-Haul volunteers delivering a truckload of turkeys and representing the 958 Team Members who chose to donate were showcased in a segment on Fox 10 Arizona Morning during the 6 o’clock hour Nov. 18 at Albertson’s grocery in Desert Ridge – one of several sites where St. Mary’s was receiving donations.
Also, azfamily 3TV CBS 5 featured St. Mary’s and U-Haul at 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. on its Saturday broadcasts.
“There are so many people in the Valley who are less fortunate, that have a great need, and that’s why we’re out here today donating all these turkeys,” Sebastien Reyes, U-Haul Director of External Communications, shared with 3TV CBS 5. “We’re a service-oriented business, so it’s very natural for our Team Members to see what the need is in the community and try to meet that need.”
U-Haul Chief of Staff Jessica Lopez noted the traditions of U-Haul giving turkeys to its Team Members, and many Team Members then giving their turkeys to St. Mary’s, are Thanksgiving rituals that warm the heart.
“This is one of my favorite days of the year,” Lopez said. “I consider it a privilege to be able to hand a turkey out to our team and thank them for their hard work and dedication. In fact, managers line up to be able to hand out a turkey to their Team Members. They insist on personally thanking their teams.
“Everyone’s smiles are infectious. Then, to witness the generosity and pay-it-forward attitude when they get to donate their turkey to St. Mary’s is very rewarding. People want to work for a company that gives back to the community. It is the right thing to do. I am so proud to say I work for such an amazing company with truly wonderful people.”
U-Haul and St. Mary’s are each celebrating golden anniversaries in 2017. St. Mary’s is marking 50 years of feeding the hungry in Arizona, while U-Haul is observing 50 years of being headquartered in Phoenix.