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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The KDKA-TV Turkey Fund kicked off Thursday.

For 37 years, generous donations from viewers have helped neighbors have a turkey dinner and more.

It began when someone handed the late Al Julius $10 and asked him to help someone in need.

Wayne Van Dine, and later Yvonne Zanos, picked up the cause. All the time, the generosity of the Pittsburgh area has made it a success, as well as our longtime partners, PNC Bank and the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.

Both partners were there for this year’s kickoff on Pittsburgh Today Live.

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“The KDKA-TV Turkey Fund is really our kickoff to the holiday season, five weeks to Thanksgiving,” Charla Irwin-Buncher, of the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, said.

The Food Bank says the need is real and the response is always heartwarming.

“It’s absolutely unbelievable how much the community steps up to support their neighbors in need,” Irwin-Buncher said.

Over the years, the fund has raised more than $16 million. Last year alone, money helped feed 47,000 families in need.

PNC Bank has a way to make your donations go further.

“If you come into a branch with $50, we will double that,” Jim Balouris, of PNC Bank, said.

The bottom line is our neighbors need help.

“People will sacrifice food, children, elderly. Prescription bills go up higher. So it’s so important that we take care of ourselves and Pittsburgh has been so good over the years in so many different ways to take care of people and this is just another way they can make a difference,” Balouris said.

There are several ways to support the KDKA-TV Turkey Fund. Visit kdka.com/turkeyfund for more information.