On Thanksgiving Day some local families in need didn’t have to wonder how they were going to eat, as a local public official, his family, and a county deputy teamed up to provide a Thanksgiving meal to eight households.
Shane Wilkin, president of the Highland County Board of Commissioners, and his wife, local attorney Kristy Wilkin, delivered cooked turkeys and all the trimmings on Thanksgiving Day to the families.
It was a huge task, Kristy Wilkin said, and when her husband told her what he’d like to do for the holidays, she said, “I wasn’t really sure how we were going to pull it all off.”
But then she came home a couple days ago to find Shane’s sisters and his mother toiling away making stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, rolls – all the things that ought to be served with the Thanksgiving turkey.
“We couldn’t have done it without Shane’s family and Dan,” Wilkin said.
“Dan” is Highland County Sheriff’s Deputy Dan Music. He cooked the turkeys in his massive, homemade smoker, which the Wilkins towed along on Thursday to deliver the warm meals.
Music has had a hand in helping those in need for the holidays for about 15 years, for a lot of those years with former sheriff Ron Ward.
“Dan and Ron had always done this,” Kristy Wilkin said, adding that her husband went to Music to talk to him about how he would like to continue the holiday helping.
Music said his Thanksgiving Day began at about 2:30 a.m. loading the turkeys into his smoker to cook. Hours later, the Wilkins came with the feast trimmings and loaded those into the smoker, then went to deliver the meals.
Wilkin said one family in particular touched them, as it was an older couple who have five children in their home, the children of a former foster daughter. They have taken in the children for fear that the siblings would be separated from each other. But having all the children, ages 3 to 12, has taken its toll on the household, and Kristy said she was told by the children’s “grandmother” that she didn’t know how they were going to be able to provide for them.
At least on Thanksgiving Day, that wasn’t a problem. And Wilkin said they were able to give the family an additional turkey. Wilkin said it made the giving all the more special that they were able to help someone who is helping others.
“I definitely foresee us doing this in the future,” Kristy said, with the involvement of the Wilkins’ two young children.
“It was amazing and very rewarding,” she said.
Reach Angela Shepherd at 937-393-3456, ext. 1681, or on Twitter @wordyshepherd.