SULPHUR SPRINGS — It's been a tough year for Shana Burden.
For months, the 33-year-old has had no job, five little mouths to feed and the holiday season just around the corner.
But on Tuesday, under a fuzzy Santa hat, Burden was laughing — elbow deep in a box of frozen turkeys.
Burden volunteers at the Tampa Police Department's Resource In Community Hope House, or RICH House, at 8218 N Marks St.
Created in 1999 by police force, the nonprofit RICH House is an unofficial community center for Sulphur Springs. Kids get homework help after school from older students, and struggling adults find resources for financial help or job searching.
Tuesday morning, the house hosted a turkey distribution for 50 of the area's neediest families.
Burden's was one of them.
"This means a lot to me," she said, hugging her 9-year-old son, Jaquwan Hall.
The turkeys came from Magical Charters and Limousines, owned by Jim Newman. He's the twin brother of the department's District 2 major, John Newman, who handed out pumpkin pies nearby.
"For those who are a little less fortunate at this time of year, and the economy the way it is, it's our way of giving back," Jim Newman said.
Volunteers from the Tampa Palms Bible Fellowship Church, Bayshore Baptist Church and Watermark Design supplied paper bags of fixings.
Six-year-old Jamri Singleton was hoping that included macaroni.
"Mmm, so good," Singleton said. "Macaroni and turkey, and milk with the turkey."
Singleton's grandmother, 53-year-old Linda Hann, has been helping raise Jamri and his 5-year-old brother, Deandre, with the boys' mother and stepfather. It hasn't been easy, she said.
"I just makes me feel good my babies will have a nice Christmas," Hann said.