Lynchburg Sheriff's Office serves up turkeys instead of tickets

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LYNCHBURG, Va. (WDBJ7) -- On Thanksgiving eve, the Lynchburg Sheriff's Office served up pre-made meals for people down of their luck.

Lynchburg Sheriff's Office delivers Thanksgiving meals to needy families (WDBJ7)

Sheriff Donald Sloan and his deputies took pre-made dinners to 20 families in the city on Wednesday afternoon. "It really puts in perspective what the heart of giving is all about, the time of Thanksgiving. We're thankful for what we have but we're also thankful that others can be blessed as well," Sloan explained.

He says this gives them the opportunity to show the community the positive side of those in uniform by serving up turkeys instead of tickets.

"Oh we going to have a great thanksgiving," remarked one local mom.

The meals were professionally prepared by a downtown restaurant to give those in need a helping hand. "Very good, I have six kids, five girls one boy," added another mother in need this Thanksgiving.

The last stop: Retired sheriff's deputy Greg Berry.

It has been a trying year for the Berry family due to Greg's back injury. "The physical issues forced my retirement early," Greg explained. "Earlier than I planned to do it."

And more tragically the unexpected death of his daughter, 38-year-old Mandy Jefferson who left behind two sons, now in the care of Greg and his wife. "We weren't really in the mood to make thanksgiving dinner this year because of the loss of my daughter, but these guys are just unreal," said Greg. "It means a lot. It means a great deal to me."

Berry served nearly 10 years at the sheriff's office and many years before that for the Lynchburg Police Department.

Next year the sheriff's office hopes to grow the program to serve even more needy families.