Colts, community partners help donate Thanksgiving meals to thousands of families

Indianapolis Colts

INDIANAPOLIS — After a big win in Buffalo Sunday, the Indianapolis Colts not only brought home the turkey bacon… but the entire bird!

Bringing their talents back to Indianapolis this week, the Colts rallied on Tuesday for their 10th annual Horseshoe Helpings event in the south lot of Lucas Oil Stadium, where 43,000 pounds of Thanksgiving fixings were divided up between 2,000 Hoosier families in need. 

Showing off the heart behind the horseshoe, dozens of volunteers alongside players, cheerleaders, the mascot Blue and even Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett teamed up to tackle Thanksgiving hunger.

While the scene may have looked and sounded like a tailgate party before kickoff — complete with a DJ and dancing — the only touchdown scored was turkeys landing in their final end zone: the trunks of families who need them most.

“It does underscore the need, and I’m so glad that these families will have a great Thanksgiving feast,” Mayor Hogsett said. “These families will now have a wonderful Thanksgiving meal to enjoy. It just uplifts the spirit of the entire city volunteering like this. Today’s a great day.

“It’s good for our city, it’s good for these families, and it’s good for the Indianapolis Colts.”

This was not a free-for-all drive-up event. Families who received free food were selected by local community centers, schools and other organizations. In addition, 10 local churches were given 50 meals each to give to the elderly and parishioners unable to attend the event themselves.

“This is such an important event to us. This was one of the few things we could continue with last year with COVID pretty seamlessly, and the need is not going away,” said Ashley Powell, Colts director of community relations. “It’s just getting harder for our community members to have access to good food, and so as stewards to this Indianapolis community, this is always important for us to try and give back in any way we can and give people a great Thanksgiving holiday.”

And after all, it is the season of giving.

“I think it’s just important that we come together as a community to help each other out,” Hogsett said. “It is the time of year where we give thanks for all that we have, and those who are volunteering here today, I mean they probably already have their Thanksgivings planned and the meals already in the preparation process.

“It’s a great feeling — warms your heart to give back to those less fortunate.”

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