PATERSON, NJ- Boxes of frozen turkeys lined the walls of the Grandparents Resource Center on Friday, but not for long as volunteers with the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity stood on the ready to quickly distribute them to thankful recipients from throughout Paterson. In total 420 turkey were to be given out to individuals and organizations that would in turn distribute them to their own members.

The event was organized by Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly (D-35) and sponsored by Omega Psi Phi,  New York Giant Keith Hamilton, Paterson Team Hope, St. Joseph’s Health, Paterson Action Committee and Bronze Shields of Passaic County.

“Being able to give back is truly something to be thankful for,” stated Wimberly. “This effort means that families across Paterson that otherwise wouldn’t will have a chance to have a happier Thanksgiving, together with family.”

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“Supporting this Thanksgiving turkey drive is a natural extension of our service to the Paterson community,” stated Kevin Slavin, President and CEO, St Joseph’s Health. “For us there is no greater commitment than to family, and that is what this effort is all about.”

For Mary Phillips the free turkey meant an that she’d be able to host Thanksgiving for the first time since her husband passed away. Saying that she looked forward to welcoming seven of her eight grandchildren to her home Phillips felt “blessed” to have been included in the distribution. Besides having her family with her on the holiday she said that she was particularly thankful for the opportunity to have done “a lot of living to celebrate.”