A brown paper bag was the catalyst. And now four Jackson friends are teaming up to help Stewpot Community Services for Thanksgiving.

The effort, dubbed #4kTurkey, aims to collect $4,000 for families in need. Eddie Outlaw, co-owner of William Wallace Salon in Fondren, said the idea came to him after receiving Millsaps College’s “Pantry Raid” solicitation. “I got my brown paper bag from Millsaps and it clicked,” he says. “I thought it would be the quickest, easiest way to help, so we came up with a number.”

That number – $4,000 – equates to 30,000 pounds of food. According to Outlaw, Stewpot says $20 buys 150 pounds of food. “If 200 people donate $20, that’s our goal,” he tells us. But, the number could be much higher. “Through various outlets, we think it’ll cause a frenzy. We’re hoping – like last year (at Christmas) – that lots of people giving small amounts can do a big thing.”

$4,000 is $1,000 more than Outlaw and his friends, Lori Garrott, Mike Smith and Stacey Spiehler, helped raise to be layaway Santas last Christmas. “As soon as we finished last year, we were so excited and high on it,” Outlaw explains. “We talked then about doing something this year for Thanksgiving, too.”

Outlaw says he loves a project and so, selfishly, this is one way for him to get excited and do some good. But the effort goes deeper. “At heart, we all have a need to do something that means something,” he reasons. “Especially now in our economy, there are still people that need help.” As you sit down to your Thanksgiving meal Thursday, Outlaw says there’s a different picture in other homes. “We’ll stuff ourselves and then throw away food. But people are struggling.”

Donations for #4kTurkey can be made in person Thursday, November 15 through Saturday, November 17 at William Wallace Salon at 2939 Old Canton Road in Fondren Village. If you are unable to bring cash or check s in person, log on to Stewpot.org to give a secure donation through Paypal. Remember to “enter special instructions” with #4kTurkey so that Stewpot can track results of the effort. “We’ll give three updates a day on Facebook and Twitter,” Outlaw says, “to let people know where we are.” Should you want to give food directly to Stewpot, Outlaw suggests non-perishables be taken to Stewpot at 1100 W. Capitol Street in downtown Jackson.

Final Update: $9,265 – which means the goal for 30k pounds of food has doubled – and then some: 69,500 pounds of food for Stewpot!

(11/16/12 9am) Stewpot online donations: $2969, Cash: $2284. Total for Day ONE of #4kTurkey? $5253! A new goal has been announced: $7,000

(11/15/12 4pm) Co-organizer Lori Garrott says : ” We will do a cash tally after Fondren Unwrapped this evening. And we will have a final tally for TODAY’s Paypal donations tomorrow morning at 9am from Stewpot. I’m getting texts from Stewpot workers with nothing but thanks for what you guys are doing for them. I wanted you guys to know that.”

(11/15/12 Noon) Stewpot via Paypal: $1700.00, Cash: $840.00 ($2500 – in four hours time!)

Smith, Garrott, Stewpot's Frank Spencer, Outlaw and Spiehler. Photo: Lori Garrott


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