AUGUSTA, Ga (WJBF)- On Monday, hundreds of families in need will get a free turkey for Thanksgiving, all thanks to a decades old tradition. It’s the James Brown Turkey Giveaway started by the Godfather of Soul 32 years ago.
It has been carried on by his children since his death nearly 17 years ago.
James Brown grew up very poor in Burke County and it was a childhood he never forgot. Once he achieved musical success, he worked to help families like his during the holidays.
The James Brown Turkey Giveaway provides free turkeys to hundreds of families in need who register in advance.
With food insecurity on the rise because of inflation, giveaways like this one help families have a Thanksgiving meal, that they might not have otherwise.
“We’re thankful that we can continue because it’s a true need. I can just remember going to the different giveaways and just like okay this is just something that dad does because this is who dad is, but actually he understood the need because he was once one of those kids that came into a family that was poor,” said Deanna Brown Thomas, president of the James Brown Family Foundation and his daughter.
Brown Thomas said there was never any question of the family keeping this event going.
“It’s just in my DNA, it’s just in my blood because I watched him do it and I felt like I was being trained. He was schooling me for what he wanted me to do, so that’s my only reason, because I know that it is a need. It is in my heart to help, so our family comes together and we do our part,” she explained.
The Turkey giveaway will take place at the James Brown Arena Parking lot starting at 8 a.m.
If you missed out on registering for a turkey, then coming soon will be the James Brown Toy Giveaway. Registration for that will be December 2nd and 9th from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the JBA.
The event will take place December 19th starting at 8 a.m. at the James Brown Arena.
Photojournalist: Will Baker.