John Martin's story.
The Inspiration: While attending Chapman University, I spent a Christmas in Colorado at my best friend’s house. Instead of exchanging gifts, we went out to the supermarket and filled up baskets with food and spent the night delivering food to families in “real” need. It was an amazing experience!
In response to Colorado, my entire family began to sponsor families at Christmas. In 2006 we found some great deals on food, so we bought all we could. Lani and I loaded up the mini van and delivered 28 meals to a church in Santa Ana, officially launching Operation Turkey Dinner (OTD).
Over the last decade, Operation Turkey Dinner has faithfully provided a holiday feast for 9,500 families comprised of neighbors, churches, soldiers and veterans, community groups and local residents in need.
The Ministry: Operation Turkey Dinner embraces the principle of “Love one another.” It has the power to be above all things by simply bringing people and communities closer together through service. Anyone can be a part of the ministry by connecting themselves through registering a family in need, assemble dinners, delivery, or providing a donation.
Currently: We are well under way with the meals being ordered, people volunteering their time, and donations being made to supporting families in need.
“Operation Turkey Dinner goes Pink” in support of Leilani’s fight with breast cancer, we will be reaching out to local families battling cancer through the doctors at St Joseph’s Hospital.
“Operation Turkey Dinner goes Miracles for Kids” We support Miracles for Kids families from CHOC (Children’s Hospital) right here in Orange. Visit them at
“Operation Turkey Dinner goes Military.” The outreach to Camp Pendleton’s Service and War Veteran families was a tremendous success. This year we are adding Military Soldiers with PTSD through Patriotic Service Dogs Foundation.
There are so many wonderful families that enjoy participating in this local community outreach program, and we especially love hearing how excited the children are to have a role in helping their community and families in need. It’s easy to participate in Operation Turkey Dinner. You can spend an hour or a day, and help in so many ways from picking up supplies, assembling dinners, delivering them, or all three. It’s that easy. We are also always interested in locating groups like churches and community centers who have local families that need support.
You bring the families and Operation Turkey Dinner will do the rest!