A Fort McMurray man has brought the spirit of Christmas to families in need.
Last week, Dennis Sparkes, a long-time resident and business owner, bought 20 turkeys and handed them out to people who may not have otherwise been able to afford one.
Sparkes bought the birds on Tuesday, and after receiving a bunch of messages on social media, they were gone by Friday.
Having done this for several years now, he tells Mix News it’s a fulfilling feeling being able to help those less fortunate.
“A guy who was 40 years old, he just died of a heart attack last week. He had his wife and a couple of kids and I dropped a turkey off to them. People have appreciated it, they call me and text me, but I don’t do this for recognition of myself, I just like helping people, always did.”
Sparkes, who’s the owner of Sparky’s Painting and Drywall, has lived in Fort McMurray for over 35 years and has been involved in several community initiatives such as Santa’s Anonymous.
He says he decided to give back in this way – not only to help those in need but to motivate others to follow his lead.
“I was always doing things for the city, trying to make a little difference in people’s lives. Some people have messaged me on Facebook and said I’ve inspired them, so they are going to do something themselves. That’s what it’s all about, that’s what Christmas is.”
Sparkes adds it’s been heartwarming to spread the spirit of the holidays in this type of way.
“When people would message me and tell me they know a certain family in need, they leave a story that says they’re separated and got kids and can’t afford a turkey for Christmas. Those are the ones I’d address.”