"To be able to do this kind of stuff is humbling," says Oliver Norman

By Caitlin Keating
November 22, 2018 11:59 AM
Credit: Craig Barritt/Getty

Six thousand families in need across Delaware this Thanksgiving are in luck thanks to one generous man.

For decades, Norman Oliver of Wilmington, Delaware, has been handing out turkeys to families who can’t afford to buy one for their Thanksgiving meal.

“In 1981, I gave out four turkeys. I was feeding four homeless people,” Oliver tells AOL.

And this year, he’ll be giving out 6,000 throughout the state.

“Whenever you’re doing something good, something good is going to come out of it,” Oliver, the president of Nor Enterprises, told the news outlet.

Oliver doesn’t take all the credit, saying his endeavor has grown each year “because of people” and because of his 600 to 700 volunteers.

“It’s a production,” he adds. “Now we hit every Boys & Girls Club. We do all the senior high rises in the city of Wilmington.”

Around Delaware, Norman is known as “Stormin Norman,” according to Hanifa Shabazz, the president of Wilmington City Council, because he does everything “with a storm.”

J.J. Farnan, a volunteer truck driver, told AOL that all the volunteers come out every year because “it’s all driven by Norman.”

“Everybody comes together for this turkey drive, it’s kind of incredible,” added Farnan.

Linda Richardson, a social service coordinator, said that her goal on Thanksgiving is to collect the donated turkeys and “distribute them to 78 seniors in the Sacred Heart Village.”

It’s become so big that they now have police escorts take them through counties.

Councilman Zanitha Oliver said that last year he noticed quite a few families that really needed a turkey and were in line waiting.

“This is a real big impact throughout the whole state,” he added.

One woman, who didn’t give her name, told AOL that “it’s a great blessing to me. Without this I probably wouldn’t have Thanksgiving.”

Oliver says that people are working, but they may not have the extra funds to get a turkey. It’s something that “you take for granted,” he said. “To be able to do this kind of stuff is humbling.”