PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Operation Thanksgiving is now underway as Philadelphia police department employees gather and distribute meals for hundreds of families.
Officers and civilian employees spent Tuesday morning loading up turkeys and all types of food, including potatoes, stuffing, and green beans.
All of it is going to families across the city where officers say there's a huge need.
"I see it every day. I see it every day. I wish we could help everybody," said officer Edwenna Ferguson.
Ferguson wears a necklace in remembrance of her 23-year-old son Hyram Hill. She said Thanksgiving was the last holiday she spent with him before he was shot and killed at the beginning of the year.
Volunteering allows her the opportunity to focus on brightening up someone else's day.
"With so much bad going on in the world, it's great to see people come to together to do some good," Ferguson said.
Two hundred dinner boxes will be filled and distributed to families in the 21 police districts across the city.
"It makes me feel phenomenal. I know what it's like to not participate in Thanksgiving as a member of the military, so now that I'm here, I'm able to bring that joy," said Sgt. Sean Peck.
Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw also took part in the preparations and says these efforts are the results of work within each neighborhood.
"Our officers see a lot throughout the year. They see people at their worst and we don't often get called when things are going great," Outlaw said. "But how amazing is it to give back to the same person or that same family knowing what they've experienced throughout the year."
Employees across the police department donated $8,000 for all of the food in the boxes, officials said.