Everyone gets turkey at James Brown giveaway

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More than 1,000 people got turkeys at Brown's annual giveaway.

After almost 20 years of providing the main ingredient for Thanksgiving dinner, the annual James Brown Turkey Giveaway experienced a first Monday.

Everyone who wanted a turkey got one, said Deanna Brown Thomas, Mr. Brown's daughter and the president of the Brown Family Foundation.

"We've never had it like that," she said shortly after the last turkey was handed out. "It says a lot, especially since it's a recession. When you ask God to bless, you have to be ready to take that blessing." Close to 1,200 turkeys were donated or bought, and more than 1,000 people received the birds.

Joan "Candy" Iles carried her turkey on her shoulder with a smile Monday morning after a two-hour wait. The mother of five has benefited from the giveaway for about four years, she said.

"They are going to tear this bird up," Ms. Iles said about her family. "It's something that blesses me so much. I'm looking for a job, and I would have had something to eat on Thanksgiving, but nothing like this."

The Rev. Al Sharpton and others lined up early Monday morning to hand out the turkeys. The Rev. Sharpton said the community response that helped the giveaway happen this year is a testament to Mr. Brown's legacy.

"He never forgot where he came from, and his children and grandchildren remember that," the Rev. Sharpton said. "As long as God's smiling on us, we'll find a way to make it happen."

Yamma Brown, another daughter of the music icon, said she was impressed with the donations.

"It's not about the celebrities. It's about the people, and the people really stepped up to the plate this year," she said. "It's a blessing to see what Dad started almost 20 years ago is still going strong."

The turkey and the smiling people handing them out brightened Brenda Story's day. She said she started the year homeless, and by Christmas she'll be moving into a new home. The turkey gave her one more reason to be thankful, she said.

"It just makes you feel good and thank God," she said. "James' vision is still here. He's gone, but in a way, he's still here."

Reach Stephanie Toone at (706) 724-0851 or stephanie.toone@augustachronicle.com.

Comments (24) Add comment
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Just My Opinion
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Just My Opinion 11/24/09 - 04:45 am
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I'm not going to bring up the

I'm not going to bring up the recent criticisms of this program. The bottom line is that good was done here for another year. Hope all recipients enjoy their turkeys!

Asitisinaug
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Asitisinaug 11/24/09 - 05:05 am
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No act of kindness, no matter

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.

Riverman1
94246
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Riverman1 11/24/09 - 07:26 am
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Count me in as also believing

Count me in as also believing this is a time to forgo the criticism. Thanks to Rev. Sharpton for taking the time to come here and perform this charitable act.

mefirst
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mefirst 11/24/09 - 08:21 am
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Damniing with faint

Damniing with faint praise.....so very large of you ...

willienelson
5
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willienelson 11/24/09 - 08:36 am
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Sometimes we do things to

Sometimes we do things to overcome our worst acts. I was never a James Brown fan. I didn't get his music. I didn't get the man and his constant brushes with the law, many over domestic abuse. But none of that has anything to do with this yearly act of kindness. I take my hat off to the man for his desire to help those in need.

SouthernChic
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SouthernChic 11/24/09 - 08:58 am
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Did anyone see the picture on

Did anyone see the picture on the front page of the paper copy of the AC? These people supposedly can't afford turkeys for supper, but the one guy who is lined up apparently can afford a blue tooth. WHAT. IS.WRONG.WITH.THIS.PICTURE.
Priorities people! Cripes.

lostmymind
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lostmymind 11/24/09 - 09:50 am
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A friend of mine who works

A friend of mine who works for a radio station saw someone get a turkey and put in the back of a 2009 mercedes! [filtered word]

KingJames
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KingJames 11/24/09 - 09:50 am
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SoutherChic, I saw that, too.

SoutherChic, I saw that, too. My best response to you is to look at all the other people who were standing around him. They looked like they really needed a turkey. But then I thought about it a little more and said that we don't know this man's situation at all. What we do know is his acceptance of a turkey if he didn't need one is between him and God. I'm glad to see so many people were helped, though.

KingJames
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KingJames 11/24/09 - 09:55 am
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Lostmymind, I agree that

Lostmymind, I agree that people like that are a problem. But the ultimate goal is to help people like the ones mentioned above. I wouldn't wait in line for two hours for a turkey if I didn't need one. Time is too valuable to wait for something I don't need. But some people will try to get over even when they don't need to.

FallingLeaves
27
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FallingLeaves 11/24/09 - 09:56 am
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I'm with you on that one

I'm with you on that one KingJames. Sometimes things aren't what they seem. He could have been picking up the turkey for a disabled person. Anyone who is willing to stand down there in that long line during flu season for a free turkey, I'm willing to give the benefit of the doubt.

0430
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0430 11/24/09 - 10:06 am
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I am proud that the people of

I am proud that the people of Augusta was able to help so many people. God Bless the event.

To the person that had the 2009 Mercedes that got a free turkey, may God Bless you too.

Newsreader
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Newsreader 11/24/09 - 10:12 am
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It does not matter the

It does not matter the appearance of the receiver, but the intention of the giver. If the receiver did not need the turkey, it was no loss to the Brown Family. If anyone committed fraud, then it does not diminish the good that the giveaway created. I agree that I am not a fan of James Brown, but I am a fan of giving a helping hand to those in need. While Mr. Brown never forgot his roots and tried to help others, I am happy to see that the family continues the one tradition that everybody seems to agree would be a great lecacy for any man. No matter the color of his skin or teeth, no matter what is the year of her birth or her car, if they come give them a turkey. As one poster put it, if you are willing to stand in line for two hours for a twenty dollar turkey you probably need it.

alfrrst4
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alfrrst4 11/24/09 - 10:43 am
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I wasnt able to attend this

I wasnt able to attend this year and help out, my heart goes out to Mr James Browns Family for keeping the giveaway going strong. To everyone who gave their time to help put a smile on the many faces of the wonderful people in Augusta, thanks.

disssman
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disssman 11/24/09 - 12:47 pm
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It is a sad thing to think

It is a sad thing to think that some people took turkeys they didn't need and some families will go without. This is a great program and everyone working it should be proud of their efforts. I was a fan of JB and sure miss seeing his big smile at the gathering.

jusanote
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jusanote 11/24/09 - 03:31 pm
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Just once, I would like to

Just once, I would like to read responses to any story that no one felt the need to add a negative spin to! If someone in a Mercedes wants to stand in line 2 hrs for a 20 dollar turkey, who cares?! The spirit of what this occasion is all about is still the same. Even if one person receives a free turkey that they do not need, it pales in comparison to the other 900 people who did need one! Focus on that, it's not like the people who are complaining about the suspect turkey receipent actually donated any turkeys themselves. There is no way to know that person's true circumstances and in the true spirit of giving, it doesn't matter.

charliemanson
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charliemanson 11/24/09 - 04:08 pm
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Good that everyone got a

Good that everyone got a turkey.

corgimom
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corgimom 11/24/09 - 07:54 pm
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Because jusanote, people are

Because jusanote, people are tired of donating to charity and then people stealing from that charity. In Charlotte, DSS workers can't account for $162,000 of a program to provide clothing, gifts, and toys to needy children, and one employee has already paid back THIRTY THREE THOUSAND DOLLARS. And some of that money was for- literally- diamond earrings, leather coats, and other luxury items.

like-it-is
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like-it-is 11/24/09 - 08:22 pm
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do you think, just maybe that

do you think, just maybe that mercedes belong to someone that was helping out? like, giving the turkey instead of receiving it?

DEVGRU
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DEVGRU 11/24/09 - 08:34 pm
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All citizens of this great

All citizens of this great country should be allowed a turkey. Let there be turkeys I say. Turkeys for the asses, I mean masses.

ntheaug
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ntheaug 11/24/09 - 08:34 pm
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My hat goes off to Deanna

My hat goes off to Deanna Brown and everyone who donated and helped in anyways. Keep up the good deed. I know the GOD FATHER OF SOUL r smilin down on everyone who had hands in dis!!!!!!!!!May GOD contiune to bless each and everyone of you..........

John Locke
354
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John Locke 11/24/09 - 10:19 pm
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I have a question - where do

I have a question - where do the homeless people cook their turkeys? I mean, after they leave, where do they take it? If they don't have a refridgerator, that is a problem too. So why line up to get something you can't use, unless you take it to the homeless shelter and give it to them.

FedupwithAUG
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FedupwithAUG 11/24/09 - 10:28 pm
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$20 trukey? I got 3 for 3

$20 trukey? I got 3 for 3 quarts of beer. Less the $6. I just stood outside the give away.

KSL
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KSL 11/24/09 - 11:44 pm
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LOL, Fedup. I love to see

LOL, Fedup. I love to see capitalism at its best!!

KSL
144554
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KSL 11/24/09 - 11:48 pm
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If you look at the people

If you look at the people lined up, and the way they were dressed to receive the turkeys, you would not exactly call them homeless. Some looked like they had on their Sunday best. I was definitely looking at the entitlement crowd. "He made big bucks. He and I looked alike. I'm entitled."

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