By Julia Deng
ODESSA - Graham Central Station's annual turkey giveaway kicked off Sunday morning and will "continue until all the turkeys are gone."
Organizers were able to raise enough donation money for 300 frozen turkeys - 60 more than last year, according to Chris Eades, a manager at Graham Central Station.
"It was all donation money [from] the people in the community who cares," Eades said. "Four thousand dollars."
Eades has now been organizing the turkey giveaway for 16 years and told NewsWest 9 the event is "by far, [his] favorite thing [he does] all year long."
"It makes you feel so good because it's such a little gesture as we see it, but [people picking up free turkeys] it's worth making their entire holiday worth having," he said.
Graham Central Station held the first leg of their multi-location giveaway at the Salvation Army headquarters on East 11th Street in Odessa.
Lt. Joe Contreras, the Commanding Officer for the Salvation Army, said helping out, "put a smile on [his] face" because he remembers what it feels like to be the one getting help.
"Growing up, I had a father who was an alcoholic and life wasn't always that great," Contreras said. "Mom tried to make ends meet. I remember people giving me a helping hand so for me to be able to partner with someone like Graham Central Station and give back to the community like this really makes me feel good."
However, despite having more turkeys to hand out this year, the event saw shorter lines.
"Usually we have a lot of people standing out here, ready to get a free turkey," Contreras said. "For whatever reason, they just didn't come out today (Sunday)."
He said they plan to publicize the event more heavily next year.
"[We'll] probably advertise a little bit longer. Advertise at our thrift store [and] on Facebook," Contreras said.
According to Contreras, the remaining free turkeys will be at the Salvation Army of Odessa on East 11th Street "until they've all been given away."
There are no requirements for the giveaway; anybody is eligible to stop by for a free turkey between the hours of 9:00-11:45 a.m. and 1:00-4:00 p.m.