Rekha Ohal's Turkey Dinner Project spreads good juju...and good food

Thanksgiving is just a week away...and musician Rekha Ohal has come up with an easy way to share your thanks. A transplant to Denver from the East Coast, Ohal is a singer and piano player who likes to entertain; she also loves the idea of people getting together over a good meal. She came from a large family where potluck style dinners were quite common. And in 2006, she got the idea to form the Turkey Dinner Project, to "spread good juju throughout the world," she says.

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The Turkey Dinner Project calls for donors to purchase Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner boxes -- a $49.99 package feeds four -- from a local Safeway, and then Ohal lets needy families know where they can pick up their holidays feasts. "After the sponsor has purchased the dinner from the designated supermarket, the family simply collects it from the deli," explains Ohal. "That's one of the things I like about this project: It's basically just an orchestrated, random act of kindness."

The idea for the Turkey Dinner Project came to Ohal while she was having coffee with a friend, and wondered why everyone couldn't have the "Oh, I could never eat another bite feeling," she remembers. Ohal has lofty goals for improving the world, and says this is just a small start: "Every act of compassion can change us all for the better."

Ohal works with Mission Supports and Goodwill Programs on the Turkey Dinner Project; those organizations find people who need those dinners, and Ohal connects the people with the turkey packages. Sometimes the project creates a great dynamic, she notes: "If one family had a car and another didn't, the family with the car would fetch both dinners and then both households would enjoy Thanksgiving together."

Ohal is accepting sponsors until Sunday, November 24. For more information, e-mail Ohal at rekha.ohal@gmail.com or visit the Turkey Dinner Project Facebook page.

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