Chicago community groups provide food, clothes for families in need ahead of Thanksgiving

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Community groups across Chicago came together to help families in need for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.

The Dovetail Project, a fatherhood initiative for young men of color, has worked to fill the gap for families for a fourth year. The project provides food boxes to 120 families as well as winter coats and gears with the support of the Chicago Bears.

"It's enough to feed four to five individuals inside of a household. Turkey, coats, right, really getting everything together so that families don't have to worry about going out to the stores," said Sheldon Smith, project founder at the Dovetail Project.

The Rock Ministries also had its 18th annual Acts of Kindness turkey giveaway.

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"It's real nice because a lot of people don't have money to go get turkeys and stuff due to the corona," said turkey dinner recipient Sydny Mersenski.

The church located in Chicago's South Loop gave away a thousand bags of Thanksgiving groceries, which includes a turkey, Saturday.

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"I think everybody all across the country know that this is a hard time now, especially people of color. You know it's just rough, it's tight," said Pastor Earl Grandberry with True Rock Ministries.

Josephine's Southern Cooking restaurant still serves the community despite in-person dining restrictions in place.

"Even during this time of this pandemic, there is still a great need for blood during this time, and again, you know with Mother Wade, I'm Mother Wade's son, so you know we're going to give food out, so everyone that's donating blood and giving up their time of day, we're allowing them to get a Thanksgiving meal," said Victor Love, co-owner of Josephine Southern Cooking.

The cafe, along with My Block, My Hood, My City and a Midwest blood bank, sponsored the pre-Thanksgiving blood drive over this weekend. Organizers said the event, which continues Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., is meant to highlight the importance of blood donation in minority neighborhoods.

"Particularly here in the Southside of the city and the large African American population, and nationally, African American donation is comparably low to other minority groups and other groups in the country," said Samantha Speaks, community blood center.
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