COUNTRY CLUB HILLS, IL — A TikTok star and actor with a soft spot for Tinley Park is doing his part to give back to the area this Thanksgiving, set to give away hundreds of turkeys to local residents the week before Thanksgiving.
Nearly a lifelong resident of Tinley Park, Ish Taher has built a TikTok following of now 4.6 million, and he hasn’t forgotten about the people in his hometown and the towns around it. Taher will again hand out 350 turkeys on a first-come, first-serve basis to area residents on Friday, Nov. 17.
After debuting the giveaway last year, Taher said he was certain he’d do it again.
“Last year went unbelievably smooth,” Taher said. “We gave away 360 turkeys in one hour. … Everybody was happy, nobody waited a crazy amount of time. It was awesome. It went perfectly.”
Taher, 29, is a graduate of Summit Hill District 161 and Lincoln-Way District 210’s now-shuttered Lincoln-Way North High School. He aspired to acting and comedy after graduation, training at Second City Chicago and Black Box Acting. He’s appeared in a variety of films and series, and recently notched an outstanding supporting actor win with the World Independent Cinema Awards in Los Angeles.
Taher’s TikTok content is mostly comedic skits, but it’s working. He was recently recognized as the among the top 10 streamers in the United States, according to a release.
“Comedy’s a beautiful form of bringing joy to people,” Taher told Patch in a previous interview. “I always feel like it’s best if I laugh at myself—with me being the person being laughed at.
“It’s providing people with some sort of happiness. So many people come to me and tell me that my content brightens their day, and that’s why I do it.”
Since last Thanksgiving, he’s been traveling and building connections in places like Dubai, Barcelona, Morocco, and Palestine.
He said Tinley Park and the surrounding area “just feels like home,” so it seems natural to bring the giveaway back for a second year—and hopefully many years to come.
“It was a pretty easy decision, everything went so well last year,” Taher said. “God has blessed me with everything I have now, it’s just a good way for me to give back to my community.”
The giveaway will be held at the Country Club Hills Theater Pavilion, located at 4150 W. 183rd Street, Country Club Hills. Taher chose to host the giveaway in the suburb, a city he adores, and spent much of his youth in.
The event will start at 2:30 p.m.and run until all turkeys are gone.
“I’m glad my career has gotten me to a place where I can give back to people,” Taher said. “All I want in return is to see people smile.”