Foundation to provide turkeys to residents

Published: Wednesday, November 13, 2013 at 2:20 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, November 13, 2013 at 2:20 p.m.

Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks and enjoy a turkey dinner with family and friends.



* What: The 4th annual Thanksgiving Blessing Turkey Giveaway.

* When: 1 p.m. Nov. 20 to sign up, 1 p.m. Nov. 21 to pick up turkeys.

* Where: Mount Carmel Baptist Church, 2505 NE 8th Ave.

* Information: Call 352-378-7322.

And, if you need a little help to make your Thanksgiving celebration a reality, vouchers for a free turkey will be provided to the first 300 people who come the day before to pick up a voucher during the 4th annual Thanksgiving Blessing Turkey Giveaway at Mount Carmel Baptist Church.

LaVern Porter, one of the organizers, said turkey vouchers will be available on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 1 p.m. on Nov. 20 at the church at 2505 NE 8th Ave. Turkeys will be distributed beginning at 1 p.m. on Nov. 21, also at Mount Carmel.

To get a voucher, residents will need a photo ID, such as a driver's license, and they must come in person. Only one voucher will be provided per person and only one person in the household will receive a turkey.

"We will not give more than one turkey per person," Porter said. "We don't have as many turkeys this year and we want to help as many people as we can."

Porter said those with vouchers will get a turkey, and to make sure they don't wait in line needlessly, a count will be done to reach the desired number.

During the giveaway, church officials also will share a prayer of thanksgiving.

Porter said senior citizens and the visibly disabled will be called to the front of the line to get their turkeys.

"Your (financial) status doesn't matter," Porter said. "Everyone deserves something sometime in their life."

Porter said the Wilfork Foundation, founded by Gainesville native Bianca Farinas-Wilfork and her husband, Vincent Wilfork, a nose tackle with the New England Patriots, will provide the 300 turkeys that will be distributed to the community.

In addition to the 300 turkeys the community will receive, turkeys also will be given to Alachua County Head Start families and some local churches. Cheney Brothers, an Ocala food distributor, will transport the turkeys to Gainesville.

Porter said Farinas-Wilfork had planned to come to Gainesville to help distribute the turkeys, but she will be staying home in Boston to care for her husband, who is injured and home for the rest of the football season.

"The Gainesville community and Mount Carmel are praying for Vincent Wilfork and his family," Porter said. "We're praying for him earnestly."

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