Story and photos by Susan Fried
Cortez Charles has fond memories of playing football on Thanksgiving with his family. Four years ago he decided he wanted to revive the tradition. But instead of just playing football, Charles wanted to turn Thanksgiving and the days leading up to it into a chance for young people to give back to the community. For the fourth consecutive year, Turkey Bowl engaged youth in the community by preparing sandwiches for homeless people and providing families in need with food for the holiday.
The three-day event started on Tuesday with volunteers preparing food and dropping it off at homeless encampments in Othello and Skyway. On Wednesday, the young volunteers played flag football and joined the community for a full Thanksgiving dinner. On Thanksgiving day, the adults took to the field for a little competitive flag football.
Other organizations also provided a meal on Thanksgiving for people who needed a place to go for fun and food. Hundreds of people enjoyed a delicious Thanksgiving feast at the Seventh Annual Family Feast sponsored by the Mario D. Bailey Foundation. The annual event provides transportation to people in need to and from the event and includes music, dancing and an abundance of food. The Hillman City Collaboratory also held its Fifth Annual Free Community Potluck. People were invited to donate food, come and eat and socialize.