Fort Worth

After Parents Test Positive for COVID-19, Siblings Step in to Make Sure Turkey Drive Continues

The Calzada family hopes to deliver more than 500 turkeys before Thanksgiving

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There isn't a Thanksgiving Gabby and Dash Calzada can remember that didn't involve a refrigerated truck, hundreds of frozen turkeys and feeding Fort Worth families in need.

"We just go into the inner city, love on the neighbors there, let them know that they're seen,” Gabby Calzada said.

Their parents, Ruth and Buddy Calzada, who's also a public information officer for the Fort Worth Police Department, are the driving force behind the inner-city outreach program Fort Worth Metro.

With one of their largest events, a turkey drive, just days away, the unthinkable happened.

Ruth tested positive for COVID-19. Buddy, who’s vaccinated, soon followed.

"I said, 'What am I going to do? All these families rely on me. What am I going to do?'" Ruth Calzada said.

Some suggested rescheduling. Their kids, who both tested negative, had a better idea.

Both have been part of Metro's outreach since they were in the womb. Ruth said she wore them in carriers to some events and potty trained them through others.

"Me and Dash have watched you do this for many years and so this is our year. You can trust us. We can take care of it and now we're doing it,” Gabby Calzada said.

After temporarily moving out of their parent's home, the siblings have taken the reins, being there for turkey drop-offs and organizing logistics for Monday and Tuesday's distributions.

This year, they hope to bless more than 500 families.

"It was maybe a little intimidating at first. You know, all the thoughts of, ‘Oh, I'm only 17,'” Dash Calzada said.

Gabby’s just 21.

Still, their parents said they’ve hit it out of the park and that this year’s drive could be their largest yet.

"Twenty-eight years, I've never missed an outreach. I've never not been there. And I honestly, I probably think this is going to be my favorite year so far,” Ruth Calzada said.

Of course, they're not doing it alone.

“It’s super cool knowing that we have an army behind us, a lot of people willing to help," Dash Calzada said.

But both for them and their parents, it's a reminder that those who give usually get so much more in return.

"You feel like you're investing in the community, you're investing in these families. In reality, the truth of it is, we've been investing in our kids as well,” Buddy Calzada said.

Sunday, Gabby and Dash will collect turkeys during morning services at Fort Worth’s Movement City Church.

Fort Worth Metro also accepts online donations.

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