By CRA News Service
Thousands of people will begin their Thanksgiving feasts a little early as community groups across Palm Beach County begin handing out turkey dinners and other food items Tuesday.
Perhaps the largest giveaway was at Sam’s Club in Hypoluxo where Prep and Sports, a local organization that has been working with youth since 2005, gave away 1,000 turkeys and dinners, organizers said.
“We had four football players – Brandon Flowers of Kansas City Chiefs, Anquan Boldin of the Baltimore Ravens, Abram Elam of Dallas Cowboys and Seattle SeaHawks’ Kennard Cox- came together and put up the funds for the distribution of the turkeys,” said Delray Beach police Lt. Michael Coleman, a board member of Prep and Sports and one of the event’s organizers.
Flowers Delray Beach native, Boldin from Pahokee, Elam from Riviera Beach and Cox is from Miami.
Organizers distributed 800 turkeys between the Glades, North County and South County, Coleman said. Radio Station WEDR-99 JAMZ, which partnered with Prep and Sports, gave away 200 of the turkeys in Broward County, he said.
While the outreach group could not cover all the gaps, they answered the prayers of several hundred local families in need — some consisting of senior citizens, others small children — who had little to cling to this holiday.
“We try to reach out and touch anyone and everyone who is in need,” Coleman said. “It’s our civic duty to look out for the less fortunate.”
Organizers hope to make this an annual event.
In Delray Beach, another 100 turkeys were given away at the 505 Teen Center to needy families.
“It is a great help to the people in the community,” said Bill Ceasar, who has been turkeys for several years. “Some people cannot afford a Thanksgiving meal, while others thought they wouldn’t have anything to eat.”
Daniel Diamond and his staff at 2nd Street Café volunteered to serve turkey and all the trimmings to five families selected by local law enforcement personnel.
“During the holidays, you can certainly feel a little bit more despair if you’re in a situation when things are not going as well as you’d like,” he said, adding that he hopes to help take the worry of the holidays off peoples’ shoulders.
“Thanksgiving is one time of the year when we are able to reach out into the community to show that we care and demonstrate the core values of dignity, collaboration and stewardship,” Diamond said.