James Brown Turkey Giveaway continues

Families get help to provide meal on Thanksgiving

Michael Holahan/ Staff
Front to back, Jazzy Jones, 2, Valerie Vaughan, and Shauna Jones get their turkey at the annual James Brown Turkey Giveaway at Dyess Park in Augusta Monday morning November 25, 2013.
Monday, Nov. 25, 2013 10:24 AM
Last updated Wednesday, July 9, 2014 7:24 PM
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As the clock approached 8 a.m. Monday, Elif Crawford glanced outside to the sidewalk of Dyess Park.

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People brave the cold weather to get turkeys, which are donated by businesses and individuals.  MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
People brave the cold weather to get turkeys, which are donated by businesses and individuals.

“Look at all those people,” said Crawford, who was personal assistant to James Brown. “I know he’s looking down and smiling today. This event was very close to his heart.”

Monday marked the annual James Brown Turkey Giveaway, a tradition the entertainer started to assist local families before Thanksgiving.

During the 24 years of turkey giveaways, the event has grown in popularity and now helps feed about 500 families, said Brown’s daughter Deanna Brown Thomas.

“Dad never forgot where he came from,” Thomas said. “He grew up very poor on these same streets and never once forgot about the people who still remain.”

This year, hundreds of local residents took home frozen turkeys, which were provided by Wal-Mart, Comcast and James Brown Arena, in addition to small businesses and individuals.
“One of the first questions I got after my dad passed away was if the turkey giveaway would continue,” Thomas said. “So it’s clear what this day means to everyone. There’s no question it touches the lives of a lot of families.”

Since Brown’s death on Christmas Day 2006, Crawford said, keeping the tradition alive has become increasingly difficult.

“It’s gotten harder since he passed away,” Crawford said. “He used to just write a check and we’d go get the turkeys, but now we rely on donations and a lot of help from the community. So yeah, it’s a little harder, but we’re doing the best we can to help. He wanted every family to have a meal for Thanksgiving because he understood how it felt not to have one.”

Still, Brown’s daughter is confident the turkey-giveaway tradition is here to stay.

“This day was always very meaningful to my dad,” Thomas said. “He was so poor as a child that he had to stop school in seventh grade because of insufficient clothing. But once he left school, he became school. He became a teacher to everyone, and the turkey giveaway is a great example of this. When God blesses you with much, it’s your duty to share.”

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Jake
34126
Points
Jake 11/25/13 - 02:11 pm
7
1
No truer words....

....."When God blesses you with much, it’s your duty to share.”

Thank you Deanna Brown Thomas for keeping your father's legacy alive with the annual turkey giveaway.

CobaltGeorge
176944
Points
CobaltGeorge 11/25/13 - 03:52 pm
8
2
Jake

I agree.

One of the good things about the give away, we know there are 500 who have ID's and can't complain about voting.

Pops
14708
Points
Pops 11/25/13 - 06:50 pm
7
0
Many thanks to all these businesses

"This year, hundreds of local residents took home frozen turkeys, which were provided by Wal-Mart, Comcast and James Brown Arena, in addition to small businesses and individuals."

Oh...as a side note... thanks to the James Brown Foundation for setting all this up....

crackerjack
153
Points
crackerjack 11/25/13 - 09:41 pm
7
2
Turkey Give-away

Isn't it ironic that a picture I.D. has to be shown to receive a free turkey, but to ask for a picture I.D. to cast a vote is somehow restricting access and producing undue hardships on the poor.

thauch12
7076
Points
thauch12 11/26/13 - 02:05 am
4
6
Why bring politics into this?

Aside from providing another opportunity to complain, can anyone tell me the relevance of voter ID requirements (which are good in my opinion) and the continued "charity" of the Brown family (which are a bad in my opinion)? This is a turkey giveaway, not a Democratic party rally.

owensjef3
5639
Points
owensjef3 11/26/13 - 03:38 am
4
6
If you don' have anything
Unpublished

If you don' have anything good to say then don't say nothing.

Bodhisattva
7316
Points
Bodhisattva 11/26/13 - 06:19 am
4
7
Every year the haters come

Every year the haters come out in abundance. It never fails. A nice gesture and some people just can't stand it.

InChristLove
22485
Points
InChristLove 11/26/13 - 07:22 am
6
3
I don't think anyone said

I don't think anyone said anything about hating this or not agreeing with the charity giving set up by the Brown family. I think what was stated was a curosity as to why the requirements to receive the charity and the requirments to do your civil duty are the same but one is freely abided by without complaint and the other is a major complaintfest.

southern2
7917
Points
southern2 11/26/13 - 08:29 am
1
0
What happened to the Rev? Why

What happened to the Rev? Why did he stop coming to the turkey giveaway?

owensjef3
5639
Points
owensjef3 11/26/13 - 12:57 pm
0
1
ICL why do you justify that
Unpublished

ICL why do you justify that kind of behavior, you don’t have to always take the side of the people you agree with politically.

grinder48
2059
Points
grinder48 11/26/13 - 01:11 pm
0
0
Say What?
Unpublished

owensjef3 - If you don't say nothing, you gotta' say something.

InChristLove
22485
Points
InChristLove 12/01/13 - 02:05 pm
0
0
owensjef3, I've not taken any

owensjef3, I've not taken any sides, only commented on how I interpreted someone else comment........what part of that do you not understand?

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