Matthew McConaughey has a heart almost as big as his ever-present smile. The 50-year-old actor always takes up an opportunity to give back.
He and wife Camila Alves McConaughey founded the Just Keep Livin Foundation, a nonprofit organization that empowers and educates high school students by providing them with tools to live active and healthy lives. The foundation currently serves more than 2,500 students at 37 schools in 11 states.
Matthew’s latest way of giving back isn’t through the foundation, however. It was a team effort between Wild Turkey, which Matthew has been a creative director at since 2016, and Operation BBQ Relief.
The two came together for Wild Turkey’s annual “With Thanks” charitable giving campaign benefiting first responders. The campaign kicked off on November 1 in Southern California, where first responders are working around the clock on a number of wildfires in the area. Matthew and his team prepared and delivered 800 turkey dinners to more than 20 firehouses battling the blazes.
Matthew McConaughey is one of a number of celebrities who are very dedicated to giving back. Matthew and wife Camila Alves have their own nonprofit, the Just Keep Livin Foundation, that helps empower high school students to live active and healthy lives.
Matthew also likes to give back through Wild Turkey. He has served as the creative director of the bourbon company since 2016, and he’s pretty hands-on in the position. He was with the team for its latest venture in Los Angeles.
Each holiday season, Wild Turkey teams up with disaster relief organization Operation BBQ Relief to give thanks to first responders nationwide as part of Wild Turkey’s “With Thanks” annual charitable giving campaign.
The program got its start on November 1, giving back to first responders in an area where they could really use it. Matthew, master distiller Eddie Russell, and a group of volunteers prepared and delivered turkey dinners to more than 20 firehouses that have been hard at work battling wildfires across Southern California.
Matthew and the team prepared and delivered over 800 turkey dinners to the first responders. He also helped prepare another 800 turkey dinners that will go to homeless shelters in the affected area. The turkeys were provided by Butterball, the official sponsor of Operation BBQ Relief.
Matthew went live on Operation Barbecue Relief’s website to give a behind-the-scenes look at the enormous effort and explain why what they are doing this year is a bit different than what they did last year.
They discuss their first year, passing out 4,500 turkeys to the entire town of Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, on Matthew’s November 4 birthday. Last year, the team thanked first responders in Texas for their work on the floods.
After getting the volunteers amped and talking about past work, Matthew got to work. He had no trouble jumping in and helping with the preparation and packaging of the massive amount of meals.
“Teaming up with Operation BBQ Relief as part of the Wild Turkey ‘With Thanks’ has never been more meaningful,” Matthew stated in a press release. “Little did we know when planning this annual event that California, my second home, would once again be hit with devastating fires.”
“Being able to provide meals to the men and women who put themselves on the line is an honor for me, Jimmy and Eddie Russell,” he continued. “We are grateful to be here today to say thank you, shine a light on their unwavering conviction, and hopefully inspire others to get involved and help in their own communities.”
“Part of our mission throughout the year is to support these men and women as they are responding to severe situations in their communities,” said Stan Hays, the CEO and cofounder of Operation BBQ Relief, in the press release.
“BBQ is comfort food and reminds people of good times,” Stan continued. “These hot meals we are preparing uplift the spirits of the first responders for their hard work each and every day.” Their important work has just begun and will expand outside of the Los Angeles area.
Throughout November and December, the Wild Turkey community will work with OBR to thank first responders in Dallas, New Orleans, and Chicago with turkey dinners. They will also make appearances at local Thanksgiving turkey trots, including the New Orleans Athletic Club’s Turkey Day Race and the ThunderCloud Subs Turkey Trot in Austin.
Wild Turkey will also donate $50,000 in support of Operation BBQ Relief to further the organization’s work. Fans can also contribute by visiting the “With Thanks” donation page on its website.