Community gives back for Thanksgiving

Published 10:29 pm Monday, November 7, 2016

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, several local residents and organizations have come together to provide meals for the community.

Trivelle Gambrell, manager at Jenesys Home Health Care Services Inc., formulated her own event, Thanksgiving Blessing, to give to needy families. She called together a team of other medical care professionals to help with her initiative.

“We want to be a blessing to the community,” Gambrell said.



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The group plans to provide 75 meal baskets containing turkey, stuffing, vegetables, rice, mashed potatoes and dessert. Gambrell said monetary and beverage donations are welcomed.

The event will be hosted at RAW Ministries Christian Fellowship, located at 810 E. Washington St., from 9 a.m. to noon on Nov. 12. The baskets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

“I love being a blessing to others,” said Semeiko Gambrell, administrator at Professional Home Health Care LLC and one of the volunteers helping with the event.

This year marks Impact Suffolk’s 17th annual Thanksgiving Food Giveaway.

“We look forward to it each year,” said Barbara Edwards, Impact Suffolk’s secretary.

“We depend on churches, businesses and donors to help with the purchase of turkeys.”

Edwards anticipates between 300 to 800 turkeys to be donated. Typically, donors will either donate turkeys or send donations for the organization to purchase the turkeys. The remaining funds from the event are given to local food banks, Edwards said.

The event, taking place from 9 to 11 a.m. on Nov. 19 behind the Farm Fresh off of North Main Street, will also have live music from local gospel artists. Typically, more than 1,000 people attend the event, according to Edwards. The food distribution is on a first-come, first-served basis.

LeOtis Williams will also be hosting his 13th annual Thanksgiving giveaway on Nov. 19. The event will be held at 615 Old E. Pinner St.

From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Williams will offer 2,000 turkeys to those in need. He implemented a voucher system by which various local organizations select those in need of a meal.

Prior to starting his initiative, Williams often donated to United Way and other organizations. But, eventually he contemplated, “What could I do?”

He was inspired by his passion to help seniors and children and also by his mother.

Growing up, he recalled his mother preparing and giving meals to local firefighters and other community members.

“This is my way to give back and to continue her legacy,” Williams said.

On site, there will also be health screenings, and the Suffolk Humane Society will provide meals for pets.

“As long as the Lord continues to bless me, I will continue to bless others,” Williams said.

Finally, the YMCA Camp Arrowhead will host a Thanksgiving dinner on Nov. 17. However, the event will be for members only. Doors will open at 6 p.m. and dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m.

Registration is required for the dinner, which can be done online at or by contacting the member services desk at 934-9622.

Transportation will be provided, but it is on a first-come, first-served basis. The bus will depart from the Suffolk Family YMCA at 6:10 p.m. and return after dinner. For more transportation information, the center encourages visiting the member services desk.