The Grinch came early this year.
Just a week before Thanksgiving, thieves crawled through an open window of Mission Solano rescue mission in Fairfield, and relieved the center’s freezers of around a hundred turkeys.
"To see that and to know someone did that," said development director Nick Fisher, "stole turkeys from people who need it, was a shock."
The turkeys were destined for the center’s annual food give-away scheduled for next Tuesday.
The center plans to hand out 400 boxes of food to the needy, including a turkey and Thanksgiving trimmings.
A couple days later it plans to cook up another 300 turkeys for its annual Thanksgiving feast, that feeds about a thousand people.
"It’s just a demonstration of the need in the community," said Mission Solano CEO, Raymond Courtemanche, "and what people resort to meet those needs."
But alas, the thieves didn’t steal the optimism from the 15-year-old organization.
Courtemanche said immediately after news of the theft got out, the public began showing up with turkeys to donate.
Wal-Mart was among corporate donors that pledged dozens of turkeys to the group.
On Wednesday afternoon, Shawn Vazquez pulled into the center’s parking lot with a load of several frozen turkeys.
“I heard on the news last night they had their turkeys stolen,” Vazquez said, “so anything I could do to help.”
Courtemanche said the organization received about 150 turkeys in donations in just the last day. He said the group is hoping to collect 700 turkeys before Tuesday.
As far as the thieves, he said it’s likely someone who also was in need.
“Our executive director,” Courtemanche said, “said the people that came and stole those turkeys will probably be in line to get the thanksgiving baskets we’re going to pass out.”
Despite the theft, organizers said plans for the food give-away and Thanksgiving feast were still on.
“We’re not going to stop,” said Fisher. “If we had to get money out of our pockets and buy turkeys we’re going to do it, because people have signed up. People have said they need help.”
If you want to help, here is a link to the organization.