Richard Bagdonas is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, family guy and all around good person. I have known Richard for several years, and I fondly call him "the hugger", as his friendly nature is his calling card. He greeted me with a big hug the second time I ever met him.
In addition to a successful career in the technology community (he has founded several companies including one of Austin's hottest start-ups - SubtleData), Richard founded Operation Turkey in 2000. Operation Turkey is an Austin non-profit that feeds and clothes the homeless and less fortunate on Thanksgiving Day. It all began with one person and some left-overs. He plated up the extra Thanksgiving feast and gave it to a few homeless people on Austin's 6th Street.
This year in Austin 2,200 volunteers fed over 4,600 in Austin's homeless community. Think about how cool that is.... 4,600 people with no place to go for the holiday meal were able to eat a traditional Thanksgiving feast. Wow.
Operation Turkey has grown beyond Austin and even Texas. Both Dallas and San Marcos have joined in the Operation Turkey goodness and last week volunteers in each city handed out 1,000 meals. There were 30 other participating cities around the country.
The purpose is to provide a warm meal, clothing and toiletries to the most vulnerable members of our communities. Richard is most pleased that this program has captured the hearts of so many people in the community. The Travis County Sheriff's Department, Austin's Police Department, the Department of Health and Human Services and countless other organizations have adopted Operation Turkey.
If you would like to support this cause you can visit the website at www.operationturkey.com. From there you can donate your time, financial resources or food and clothing donations.
In keeping with the weekly tradition of "Cool Things My Friends Do"... this is really cool that one man's idea can have such impact on many people near and far.
Have A Great Day.