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Giveaways feed thousands

Families in need received turkeys and all the fixings at two charitable events on Saturday.

LW’s Lawn Service and MWM Investments held their 15th annual Thanksgiving Turkey Giveaway, and Suffolk United, a new organization, started a new annual giveaway.

Both events saw lines starting to form hours before the giveaways began.

“Didn’t know we would have so many, but we are glad to be able to provide food for the community,” said Suffolk United representative and pastor at Balm Church, Bishop A.S. Hall Sr.

Suffolk United had 25 churches attend the event, and each church had a different side or dessert to give to those in need. Those in need received everything from cake to gravy and green beans.

Despite being a last-minute effort, Suffolk United believed the event was a success.

“We decided to do this at the end of August,” Hall said. “We felt there was a need, and we decided to do something about it.”

In addition to the sides and desserts, Suffolk United gave out more than 400 turkeys to the community.

LeOtis Williams, the owner of LW’s Lawn Service, could be found on Saturday walking through the expansive line outside of his store to have a conversation with every person waiting for their Thanksgiving feast.

After 15 years of his annual turkey giveaway, Williams couldn’t imagine a Thanksgiving without the evnet.

“He is a true blessing to our lives,” said Suffolk Mayor Linda Johnson.

Even though the lines were long, Williams made sure those waiting were well fed and warm. There was lunch for those in line, and volunteers even walked around passing out hot chocolate and water.

The day started early for Williams and his volunteers, with some getting ready at 4:30 a.m.

“I just thank God for allowing me to be a vessel for this city,” Williams said.

The mayor was joined by other elected officials early in the morning to express their pride in the event. Delegate Chris Jones and Congressmen Bobby Scott and Donald McEachin also joined to talk with those waiting in line and thank Williams for all of his hard work.

Williams and the volunteers were prepared with 2,500 turkeys for those in need.