In her winter coat and white leather gloves, Opal Pickard watches the sunrise from the front door of the Spokane Arena. A new day brings new hope for Opal. However, the sunshine doesn’t bring much-needed relief from the sub-freezing weather. Despite the cold, Opal never stops smiling. She has so much to be thankful for- family, fall colors, and claiming the first spot in line for the annual Tom’s Turkey Drive Thanksgiving meal distribution.
For more than five hours, Opal waited anxiously to receive her 30-pound box of turkey, stuffing, potatoes, apples, milk, rolls, and cranberry sauce. This is more than just a meal. This box of food means Opal and her family will be together on Thanksgiving and make precious memories around the kitchen table. Opal says there’s no way she could afford a full Thanksgiving meal without this generous donation.
“I was raised that if you need something, take the steps to get the help. I really appreciate this,” said Opal Pickard.
Every month, Opal is forced to make the heartbreaking decision between paying for food, medication, and co-pays. Opal has a benign brain tumor pressing down on her pituitary gland, gout, and osteoporosis. A black brace on her right wrist reveals her love of crocheting blankets, scarfs, and hats for loved ones over the past few decades. She has carpal tunnel and can’t afford the recommended surgery and physical therapy.
Just as the frigid temperature started to settle in Tuesday morning, a Tom’s Turkey Drive volunteer handed Opal a thick, soft, crocheted scarf for extra warmth. Opal will tell you she’s not a religious person but believes someone was sending her a sign from above.
“It’s a God wink. I don’t think it’s a coincidence I was given this beautiful scarf. It’s a sign everything will be okay. I know the value of this and I would never make myself something this nice,” added Opal.
Despite her pain and health issues, Opal remains positive. She’s always been that way.
“You don’t get ahead by being negative,” she added.
Any day you can see a sunrise is a blessing.
“I’m happy my three kids are healthy, it could be worse. I’m thankful for everything,” said Opal.