The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

By Annette Shacklett
LOG Editor 

Turkeys delivered all over Alaska

And in Kentucky, too

 

Photo courtesy of Jeanie Greene

People in Stebbins open their boxes of turkeys.

Hundreds of families have a Thanksgiving turkey because of Jeanie Greene's big heart. Most go to Alaska villages. Some are given as far away as Kentucky. Others are given close to home in Seward.

Over 25 years ago, Jeanie (Blatchford) Greene started shipping out turkeys each November, and her individual giving turned into giving that involves many people, contributors and partners.

As the host and producer of the "Heartbeat Alaska" TV show, Greene gets a wide view of what happens in rural Alaska.

"I can see the need with my own eyes," Greene told The LOG. "So, I started giving turkeys. Then about 10 years ago, I thought 'I could do so much more if I made some partnerships and accepted donations.' "

"Back when this started, turkeys were 39 cents a pound," she explained. That's $7.80 for a 20-pound bird. "Now they are as much as $60 each in some villages.

So she partnered with the likes of AC Co., which has hub stores throughout rural Alaska and accessible via Yute Air and Alaska Airlines.

People from around the globe make donations by contacting her by phone, email or her Facebook page where just the other day a message was posted about a donation from Germany.

With Thanksgiving just a week away, almost all the turkeys have been shipped or delivered. Some went by truck to the villages up north. Many were flown to people in Western Alaska. And some delivered by Greene herself in Southcentral.

After learning of the need for food in areas of the Lower 48, like Hopkinsville, Ky., Greene has chosen to make sure they have turkeys, too. The gobblers aren't shipped from Alaska to Kentucky. Instead she tracked down a turkey source there and made arrangements to get them to the recipients of the gifts.

Last November after the nasty storm and flooding along the Bering Sea coast, Kotlik got a shipment of Greene's turkeys and shot video when they came in. The video is on Facebook at tinyurl.com/KotlikTurkeys.

Many other Y-K communities received turkeys last year, and many will have them this year, too.

This year after hearing that the generators were out in Tuluksak, she made sure they were lined up to get turkeys.

About 20 turkeys have already gone out in Seward. Greene gave them to Pastor Dana Goodwater at Eagles Nest Christian Church who ensures that they get to families who need them.

Photo courtesy of Jeanie Greene

Jeanie Greene of Heartbeat Alaska gives donated turkeys a send off.

This next week Greene will personally get more turkeys to folks in Seward where much of her family lives, along with providing turkeys for the Mount Marathon Native Association potluck on Saturday. Everyone, Native and non-Native, is welcome at the potluck that begins at 5 p.m. in the Lutheran Church basement. Those who attend are asked to bring a side dish to go with the baked turkeys.

Even though Thanksgiving is just days away, there's still time to get turkeys to more people in need, Greene said. Additionally, she gets Christmas gifts to many who might not get any otherwise.

"We rely on the donations of others. And people always come through," she said.

For more information about Greene and the turkeys visit her website at http://www.jeaniegreene.com, or on Facebook at HeartbeatAlaskaTV.

To donate money, resources or time, contact Greene at jeaniegreene@ak.net or 907-230-0640.

This story begins a series of stories about Giving Season in Seward. To contact LOG editor Annette Shacklett, email editor@TheSewardPhoenixLOG.com.

 

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