About 20 families in Perrine got a free Thanksgiving meal, including turkeys, in an effort to reach out to the community, especially to the elderly and disabled.
Roberta NeSmith was one of nearly 20 people on Friday who received a free Thanksgiving basket. She is the mother of five kids and 10 grandkids, and they'll all be together on Thanksgiving day.
“This is my turkey here,” said NeSmith, who couldn’t be more grateful or excited as she showed NBC 6 some of the food that was donated. "In here you have the collard greens ... and other stuff is down there. Even something to make a cake. Rice, mac and cheese, green beans."
When asked what she was most thankful for this year, NeSmith replied, “I'm grateful for my strength and health, and I'm grateful somebody always thinks about us over here."
The holiday dinners were provided to the elderly and disabled communities by Mothers Fighting For Justice. The founder, Romania Dukes, could be heard on a Facebook Live video during the giveaway while showing images of the spread.
“Tons of food. I've been gone so long, now I'm back with this again the turkey giveaway only to seniors who have been affected by gun violence," Dukes said.
Perrine has had its fair share of violence. In May 2020, a 16-year-old was shot and killed. In September 2020, a triple shooting left two victims dead. And in November 2020, a 19-year-old was also killed by gun violence.
Dukes says seniors need to know someone cares. Rain forced volunteers to hand-deliver the free meals to seniors' homes. The generosity was received with gratitude and humility.
“But who in the world would actually come in the rain, drenched," said one neighbor, who didn't want to be identified. "It means a lot to people who don't have cars, are disabled, and it costs for grocery shopping, money for gas. That means a lot to people in this area."
“They look out for us all the time every year and all through the year, and I'm just grateful for that," NeSmith said.