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Redding Rancheria gives out turkeys and toys to 500 families

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REDDING, Calif. - Redding Rancheria hosted their 3rd Annual Toys and Turkey event, serving 500 families from Shasta and Trinity Counties.

Each family was given a bag full of toys, a turkey, some cookies and candy, and a hot chocolate before leaving the Redding Rancheria Community Center.

Last year, the event was first come first serve, leading to traffic as early as 4 a.m. for families hoping to get presents and turkeys before they ran out.

To avoid that problem, families had to apply beforehand with proof of children to make sure there was enough for everyone.

This led to Redding Rancheria serving around 100 families every hour in a more controlled system.

Redding Rancheria bought over $20,000 worth of toys but needed help from local Save Marts to supply enough turkeys during a turkey shortage.

Sherri Davlin came from Trinity County to get a Christmas dinner for her family.

Without today’s event, Davlin doesn’t know what Christmas would’ve looked like this year.

“We wouldn’t have turkey that’s for sure, but it definitely helps,” Davlin said. “It’s really awesome because work is really slow up where we are so money’s kind of tight.”

Davlin told Action News Now her husband works in construction and has struggled to make ends meet due to COVID-19.

Redding Rancheria Tribal Chairman Jack Potter saw how people struggled with the pandemic this year, and wanted to make sure as many people as possible were able to have a merry Christmas.

“It actually warms my heart to know that people are going to be having some sense of normalcy,” Potter said. “And to get to be around this many people and see them smiling, with their eyes because we can’t see their teeth and their actual smiles, and so there’s a lot of smiling eyes today.”

Potter told Action News Now that today was a way for Redding Rancheria to give back to the community and hold true to their traditional values.

“Well, the tribe understands,” Potter said. “We remember when we used to stand in lines like this, and we have traditional values that say when you have an abundance of a resource. You’re to give, and share, and make sure everybody has what you have, and so we follow those traditional values.”

Potter was glad to help people who struggle living paycheck to paycheck knowing he grew up in a similar household that couldn’t always celebrate holidays when they were scheduled.

“My mom was like, ‘Christmas will be next week when I get my check,’ and so we lived by that same calendar,” Potter said. “Like when my son was young before I had some money and stuff we lived by that same calendar. I remember Easter was the day before the Fourth of July one time. You know, if we can do it, and we can provide the holiday, and make the holiday feel like the holiday for people that’s what we’re going to do.”

Potter said today was a huge success and that Redding Rancheria will look to expand its budget for next year’s event to accommodate more families.

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