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posted: 11/21/2013 5:34 PM

American Legion hands out turkeys in Des Plaines

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Des Plaines American Legion Post 36 is continuing its Thanksgiving holiday tradition on Saturday, when members will hand out some 75 turkeys, with all the fixings, to families in need.

Committee Chair Phil Campbell has been collecting the names of needy families from city aldermen and schoolteachers; those on the list will be eligible to receive the Thanksgiving package, which volunteers are handing out at 7:30 a.m. Saturday at Sam's Club, 101 W. Oakton St.

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"Too many people think of the American Legion and VFW as the places where the vets go to drink. I'd be surprised if we finish eight cases a year," Campbell said. "We're here to help not just veterans, but the community at large."

"It's really a good feeling to go out and do this," he added.

This will be the fourth year the Legion partners with Sam's Club for the turkey giveaway. Sam's pays for the turkeys; the Legion pays for everything else that comes in the Thanksgiving basket, such as stuffing, cranberry sauce, potatoes, corn and string beans.

The number of turkeys given out each year has steadily risen ever since 30 turkeys were handed out in the first year.

Campbell said organizers are handing out more and more each year because there's a growing need in the community.

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