Brenda Marsh-Mitchell, President of Mothers in Action (r), hands out plates, along with Muriel Shabazz (in red cap) with volunteers at 16th Annual Ward Villa Senior Complex Thanksgiving Day Dinner
E. J. Jackson, founder and president of Jackson Limousine (2nd from left); Michael Coylar, comedian and actor (2 nd from right); Lyn Tavai of Jackson Limousine; and a volunteer at the 23rd Annual Turkey Dinner Giveaway
Darrell Blanton (center) with 2 young volunteers at the Brotherhood Crusade's turkey giveaway at the African American Unity Center A family tradition over the years at Thanksgiving The economy and unemployment have left many unable to celebrate Thanksgiving with their families and friends. Many of these people tend to be senior citizens, who are neglected during the holidays due to the inability to travel long distances, cook meals or are simply forgotten.This Thanksgiving, mouths were fed, young and old, as numerous organizations, non-profits, businesses and volunteers made sure turkey and dressing were on needy tables this year. Mothers in Action (MIA), Jackson Limousine Services (JLS) and the Brotherhood Crusade (BC) were some of many who answered the call this holiday season.At the Ward Villa Senior Complex, MIA welcomed its 16th Annual Thanksgiving Day Dinner for senior citizens along with their invited guests. MIA has made sure every year the elders of the community are not forgotten. Together with Jackie Dupont Walker, Director of Ward Economic Development Corporation, MIA along with countless volunteers makes this event a continuous success.The efforts of many volunteers at Ward Villa saw thousands of families served throughout the Greater Los Angeles area, as well as hundreds of seniors and guests fed at Ward Villa. Volunteers from throughout Los Angeles and other cities came to help serve the elders of the community including Senator Curren Price, council members Jan Perry and Herb Wesson and his wife, Fabian, Taste of Soul vendors, Shabazz Fish and Grill, Glory Foods, Mel's Fish, Ice Cream Sundae Divas and Sno Cool, local organizations, sorority, Sigma Gamma Rho, Mothers of Many, Philo and Rhoer Clubs and many other volunteers.The BC brought Thanksgiving to more than 100 families in South L.A. this year. Stationed at the African American Unity Center, members and volunteers of the BC handed out over 100 turkeys and trimmings to truly thankful families. The 16th Annual Ward Villa Thanksgiving Dinner was sponsored by the Bakewell Family Foundation, Mothers In Action, Glory Foods, the L.A. Sentinel and the Ward Economic Development Corporation."It's the network of partners that allow us [to] serve!!!" stated BC president/CEO, Charisse Bremond Weaver. BC along with a variety of partners like Ivie, McNeill & Wyatt, The California Endowment, Verizon, JP Morgan Chase, SEIU ULTCW, Nielsen, Southwest Airlines, Microsoft, The Gas Company, US Soccer Foundation, Nestle, Raytheon, Southern California Edison, the Los Angeles Sentinel, the Mayor's Office of Gang Reduction and Youth Development and many others made this giveaway possible.JLS and its founder and president, E.J. Jackson, held it's 23rd Annual Thanksgiving giveaway the day before Thanksgiving at their business on Slauson Avenue.In a line that wrapped around and down corners in South L.A., thousands of people waited hours and days for a chance to receive a turkey dinner from the limo company. Many have come to rely on JLS in past years and many came to receive the generous food and products Jackson and volunteers provided. Over 10,000 people were expected to show up for turkey dinners this year.The supply fell short this year due to economy and shortages, but thanks to donations, Jackson was able to successfully serve those who came."I thank God for all the prayers and I thank God for the miracle he just performed," stated Jackson to media. "I thank those companies that came to help support us."Among the volunteers with JLS were Congresswoman Maxine Waters, actor and comedian Michael Coylar among others.Mothers In Action would like to thank all of our sponsors and volunteers: Los Angeles Sentinel, LA Watts Times, Ward Villas, Glory Foods, The Bakewell Foundation, Senator Curren Price Assemblymembers Isadore Hall, Mike Davis, Steve Bradford, Supervisor Mark Ridley -Thomas, Councilmember Jan Perry, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Muriel Shabazz. Big thanks goes to Chef Marilyn, Shabazz Fish and Grill, Mel's Fish and Glory Foods for providing, preparing and serving at this year.Happy Holidays to all!