LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - For families, the 300 Thanksgiving turkeys handed out Sunday in Louisville’s California neighborhood meant more than just a meal. It served as a symbol of unity, during a time where some seats may be empty at Thanksgiving dinner; whether it is because of the pandemic or record-breaking violence.
“Thank you, thank you, God bless you,” said nearly every person in line once a turkey had been bestowed upon them.
With blustery winds throughout the afternoon, people still stood in line waiting for a Thanksgiving turkey.
Three women, Patricia White, Dorseal Anderson and Tara Bush all know each other from the neighborhood. They’ve been around the block and tell WAVE 3 News, they’ve seen a lot of hurt and loss.
However, the resilience is still strong, as the women stand proudly in the name of their families.
“People are hurting losing their relatives, that’s enough hurt for us now,” Anderson said. “I wish they pulled together and knew this stuff is real.”
“Its a blessing [there are] people who do this and care about us,” White said.
Spring Valley Funeral Home owner Anthony Oxendine said the gifts, which were stored frozen and pulled out of a U-Haul trailer, are for the moms, dads, sons, daughters, families who have lost someone they loved and have to spend yet another year, another holiday without them.
“Its so [heartwarming] to see people come because I know what its like not to have food one day, I was there,” Oxendine said. “Its an amazing opportunity to give back to these people.”
Homicide numbers are record breaking in 2020. The pandemic hasn’t helped matters either, as people are dying from COVID-19.
Tara Bush said she prays for every single person in hopes of one day, the hurt will stop and people will find comfort in family around the dinner table, especially during the holidays.
“Be thankful, everybody has a lot to be thankful for this year even through the pandemic and violence,” Bush said. “We just have to pray from the ones who don’t have their loved ones and be grateful for the ones we do have -- Amen, Amen.”
The Thanksgiving turkeys were purchased by Oxendine, 300 were given out on Sunday; 500 were handed out on Saturday.
King Solomon Missionary Baptist Church plans to host the event again around Christmas hoping to give out food and toys as well.