‘All of this is free’: Good Samaritan hands out free frozen turkeys in Nanaimo

'All of this is free': Good Samaritan hands out free frozen turkeys in Nanaimo

Matt Stephens was a man on a mission as he pushed a cart full of frozen turkeys and hams to his truck Monday.

The father of two bought up coolers full of stock with his own money and posted on social media that he would give out the free frozen turkeys in Nanaimo’s Harewood neighbourhood that afternoon to help people who are struggling.

“This year, it’s really tough. Usually every year, I’ll donate to families and schools,” Stephens told CHEK News.

“Problem is, this year, people are wondering where their next meal is,” he said. “So I figure I’m just going to change gears and just get a whole bunch of turkeys and hams, and that way, people are going to come together and not worry about their next meal.”

When Stephens pulled up for the giveaway, long lines of people were waiting.

“All of this is free, I just want you to pay it forward to someone, help a neighbour, help a stranger, help a friend,” Stephens told the crowd gathered on Nanaimo’s Sixth Street.

“Let’s get back to old school Nanaimo, where we all help each other.”

Those who showed up for the giveaway were grateful for his actions.

“This man and his family stepped up my game, and now I have my bird for my Christmas,” said Nanaimo resident Alex Vallee as he clutched his free turkey.

Stephens gave away more than 40 turkeys and hams within minutes.

“End of the day, I think we’ve got to help each other,” said Stephens.

It was the same spirit of giving that inspired Nanaimo’s Larry Carter to drive to Parksville on Monday to donate a bike to a stranger.

After watching CHEK News’ story Friday on homeless man Jayson Perry, who spends his days picking garbage from highway roadsides and had his bike stolen as he picked, Carter surprised him with a new bike.

“He’s helping all the neighbours around town helping clean up the roads, it’s fantastic,” said Carter.

“Thank-you. That’s awesome. I needed a working bike,” Perry told Carter and CHEK News.

“Merry Christmas. Wasn’t expecting this, thank you,” added Perry.

READ MORE: ‘Wow I’ve done this’: Homeless Parksville man finds new purpose as one-man clean team

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