If You Make a Turkey a Red Crosser

By Jenny Contreras, intern contributor, American Red Cross

It’s Cyber Monday, the Monday after Thanksgiving. All you want to do is sit in your pajamas and surf the internet for the hottest online sales. You’ve got leftover Thanksgiving feast and turkey coming out of your ears, and the thought of eating poultry sandwiches for the next week seems dreadful. Lucky for you, we have some fun ideas for what you could’ve done with that turkey instead of cooking it. (Or what you could do with the leftovers if you know any magic tricks to putting life back into that bird!)

Not many people are aware of the fact that the American Red Cross recruits animals to volunteer. We recruit compassionate dogs to help out with the American Red Cross’ Service to the Armed Forces network by comforting ill and wounded soldiers. The therapy dogs are accompanied by their owners and they visit several units like behavioral health, physical medicine and Wounded Warrior units.

We’re always looking for volunteers, so we thought perhaps we could consider looking for other animals that would make great teammates, say for example, turkeys. In case you didn’t know, Benjamin Franklin believed that turkeys would make a better national bird compared to the bald eagle.

Many people underestimate the abilities of turkeys. We know there’s a possibility of them drowning if they look up while it’s raining, but we figured we should still consider what would happen if they wore one of our Red Cross vests.

If a turkey were to be recruited, we imagine she would ask not to volunteer in the kitchen for obvious reasons. Turkey would be a friend, not food.


She might ask to help out in Blood Services and host a blood drive. She could socialize with all the altruistic folks that donate blood to those in need and pass around the complimentary sugar cookies. She may even break into dance once or twice to distract the donors that are terrified of needles.

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Considering she’s enthusiastic and passionate about sharing our mission, she might even want to help out the Public Affairs team. During blue sky days, she could post trendy videos on our Red Cross YouTube account to attract potential volunteers and simultaneously push out her new mixtape.


We are afraid if we asked her to post tweets from our Red Cross Twitter account, it would result in a string of phonetically spelled turkey calls .

During the holidays, she may want to help out with the Holiday Mail for Heroes and personally deliver the letters to soldiers. But to be honest, we don’t know how efficient she would be at delivering the letters considering she’s not a carrier pigeon.


In the end, no matter what the Red Cross staffers assign for the turkey to do, we think she would be happy and fulfilled, so long as we keep her out of the kitchen.

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