Lifestyle & Human Interest

Actor Matthew McConaughey Does It Again: Helps Prepare 800 Turkey Dinners for First Responders


This time of year sends people into a festive mood. Some start decking the halls early, others bask in the fall tones and autumnal flavors — either way, there’s a draw toward good company and comfort food.

Some, like Matthew McConaughey, take the opportunity to warm hearts and bellies and spread cheer by helping provide meals to unsuspecting strangers.

While the actor has been working with Wild Turkey bourbon distillery for three years, he’s also participated whole-heartedly in their “give back” projects.

Last year, that meant the 48-year-old spent his birthday helping hand out over 4,500 Butterball turkeys to residents in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky.

“Thank you for being here and giving up your Saturday for this,” he said to volunteers, according to The Baltimore Sun. “We believe in our family that the more you’re thankful for, the more you’re going to create in your life to be thankful for.”

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Residents were shocked and grateful for the surprise visits, and he helped spread joy and good vibes throughout the city.

Turkey is back on the menu this year, and McConaughey and Wild Turkey are at it again, teaming up with Operation BBQ Relief to bring meals to first responders and the homeless in Los Angeles, California.

“Teaming up with Operation BBQ Relief as part of the Wild Turkey ‘With Thanks’ has never been more meaningful,” McConaughey said, according to a news release. “Little did we know when planning this annual event that California, my second home, would once again be hit with devastating fires.”

“Being able to provide meals to the men and women who put themselves on the line is an honor for me, Jimmy and Eddie Russell. We are grateful to be here today to say thank you, shine a light on their unwavering conviction, and hopefully inspire others to get involved and help in their own communities.”

Eddie Russell, the master distiller for Wild Turkey, said “Wild Turkey is founded on community — from our tight-knit group of distillery employees to the townspeople who have supported us through the years.”

“To honor that spirit,” he added, “every year we recognize people who perform extraordinary acts to support their communities — and do it with conviction. We are grateful to have our Creative Director Matthew McConaughey to help us take action and give thanks again this holiday season.”

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Stan Hays, co-founder and CEO of Operation BBQ Relief, expressed the group’s thankfulness to be working with the distillery to bring some relief to the Southern California community.

“We are so fortunate to be working with Wild Turkey for the ‘With Thanks’ campaign to shine a spotlight on First Responders across the country,” Hays said. “Part of our mission throughout the year is to support these men and women as they are responding to severe situations in their communities.”

“BBQ is comfort food and reminds people of good times. These hot meals we are preparing uplift the spirits of the first responders for their hard work each and every day.”

The crew prepared 1,600 meals total, giving half to first responders and the remaining 800 to homeless shelters. Wild Turkey also posted on Operation BBQ Relief’s video, revealing that they’d be donating $50,000 to the group for future efforts.

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