Woman using plane to drop ‘turkey bombs’ for rural Alaskans in Skwentna

Woman using plane to drop ‘turkey bombs’ for rural Alaskans in Skwentna
Published: Nov. 23, 2022 at 8:20 PM AKST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SKWENTNA, Alaska (KTUU) - For rural Alaskans living off the road system, it can be difficult — and often expensive — to get a Thanksgiving turkey.

Esther Sanderlin became aware of this dilemma and decided to do something about it. Sanderlin decided to raise money, hop on her plane, and airdrop Thanksgiving turkeys to her neighbors in the outlying village of Skwentna, located on the Yentna River.

“As a kid, we had a friend that would airdrop turkeys with his plane to my family and other families in the surrounding area for Thanksgiving,” Sanderlin said. “This time of year since the rivers and lakes are freezing up, it’s not safe to travel, you’re pretty much stuck for a while.”

Now, 20 years later, she wanted to bring the tradition back, but this time bigger and better than ever.

“(I) went to visit our closest neighbor, and he was telling me that a squirrel doesn’t split very far between three people for dinner,” Sanderlin said. “When he told me that, I was like, I’m just gonna airdrop him a turkey this Thanksgiving.”

When Skwentna residents heard about her Alaska “turkey bomb” mission, they began reaching out with donations, turkeys, and air support to help accomplish her goal.

So far, Sanderlin has delivered 30 Thanksgiving turkeys and hopes to deliver more in the future, including some for this Christmas.

“My goal and vision for this is to reach more rural Alaska than just the Susitna drainage area,” Sanderlin said.