Thanksgiving Miracle: This Family’s 500 Turkeys Froze to Death. Their Neighbors’ Reaction Will Fill You With Tears.

What would you do with all those turkeys?

frozen-turkeysCourtesy Bill Fowler via Country Extra

The early winter storm was much worse than the forecast. In the 1950s, weather was frequently a best-guess science.

“Sweetheart,” Dad whispered to Mom, “I’ve got to get out of bed and go check on the turkeys.” When Dad left the house, Mom worried that he would not be able to make it to the farm. The snow was whipping around the little white frame house at 40 miles per hour, and there were deep drifts on the driveway.

At 7 a.m., Mom was ready to call for help when Dad’s truck slid into the driveway. He nearly collapsed on the kitchen floor. “Call Bishop Gurney,” he stammered. “Have him tell the congregation to come up to the farm and get a free turkey for Christmas dinner.

“Near as I can tell, we have 500 frozen birds,” he said, shaking his head in defeat. “Give me a minute to get warm and cleaned up.” With seven ¬children to feed, he knew the loss would be financially devastating.

That morning Bishop Gurney relayed the tragic story. Then he called other local bishops and urged them to tell friends and neighbors where they could get a turkey.

As the sun burst forth, hundreds of cars drove up the snowy road to the Fowler farm. Every turkey was claimed. Friends viewed the tragic scene in sympathy. But the mood changed as more people arrived.

Nearly all of the birds, which still had to be cleaned and plucked, were paid for in cash. With the realization that the tragedy was being salvaged, neighbors talked and even laughed. Someone placed a donation can on the hood of Dad’s truck. Often more was proffered than what the birds would have cost at the store.

Mom and Dad humbly thanked the Lord as they counted hundreds of dollars and hundreds of friends.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest