Posted November 22, 2023

Department of Public Safety distributes turkeys to community

In advance of the Thanksgiving holiday, Temple’s Department of Public Safety is giving back by distributing more than 70 turkeys directly to its North Philadelphia neighbors.

Amber James and Leroy Wimberly packing Thanksgiving dinners.
Photography By: 
Ryan S. Brandenberg
Amber James, associate director of organization administration for the Department of Public Safety, and Temple Police Officer Leroy Wimberly package Thanksgiving dinners to be given to the North Philadelphia community on Monday, Nov. 20.

As inflation continues to stretch families’ wallets this holiday season, Temple University’s Department of Public Safety (DPS) is giving back. 

On Monday, Nov. 20, the department assembled turkey dinners that were then distributed to North Philadelphia neighbors and community groups in advance of Thanksgiving. More than 70 turkeys were given out during the course of the day. 

“We have done this for around 12 years now, and it is just important that we help support our community,” said Monica Hankins-Padilla, external relations coordinator for the DPS. “These are our neighbors here in North Philadelphia, and this has been a tough year, so we wanted to be sure to give back.” 

In addition to turkeys, each boxed Thanksgiving dinner included green beans, cranberry sauces, yams, stuffing and corn muffin mix. The dinners were packaged together at the Temple Newman Center, 2129 N. Broad St. 

Temple Police Officer Leroy Wimberly has regularly assisted with the department’s turkey giveaways every November. From when the giveaways started more than a decade ago to now, Wimberly estimates that DPS has distributed well over a couple thousand turkeys right into the North Philadelphia community. 

“One of the reasons that we do this each year and that we go big is to show that we are part of the community,” Wimberly said. “Temple is into giving back and supporting our community. Also to be in a position to give back and help those that are less fortunate than us is really what the holidays are all about.” 

The Thanksgiving outreach project is just one the many community outreach initiatives spearheaded by the DPS. For more information on the department’s various outreach efforts, visit the Department of Public Safety’s website. 

DPS’ next community outreach event will be the Community Holiday Celebration, which will be held Sunday, Dec. 17. The event connects community neighbors with the campus community in the spirit of holiday season. Staff and students donate their time and talents to provide food, prizes, presents, decorations and entertainment for more than 300 children and their families.