BARSTOW — Executive Director Peggy Fries stood outside in back of the Desert Sanctuary office Tuesday morning watching over 28 turkeys.

Fries was waiting for somebody from New Life Fellowship to pick up the turkeys inside boxes stacked along the building.

'It's kind of fun. It really is," Fries said.

She was referring to the job of distributing 228 turkeys dropped off by Golden State Water Company to given away throughout the community for Thanksgiving dinners. Golden State has been offering the turkeys to the community for more than 20 years. Desert Sanctuary has taken on the distribution responsibility for the past six years.

Besides pre-screened individual families, turkeys are also delivered to the Barstow Senior Center, New Life Fellowship and Victory Outreach for sit-down meals at those sites. Qualifying families, screened by Desert Sanctuary staff, picked up their turkeys Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday.

"We really cross reference everybody," Fries said.

Mike Lamb can be reached at 760-957-0613 or You can also follow him on Twitter @mlambdispatch.