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Hempstead Village gives out turkeys, hope

Hempstead's Vickie Williams was one of hundreds who

Hempstead's Vickie Williams was one of hundreds who received a free turkey at the annual giveaway in Hempstead Village. (November 22, 2011) Credit: Ursula Moore

Being a mother of four and out of work during the Thanksgiving holiday is not the most ideal situation. But Vickie Williams of Hempstead remains thankful.

Standing on line at the 15th annual Thanksgiving Free Turkey Giveaway hosted by the Village of Hempstead at Kennedy Memorial Park Tuesday, Williams talked about how important receiving one of the 400 10-pound Butterball turkeys really is.

“Thanksgiving without a turkey is no Thanksgiving for me,” said Williams, who got a turkey for the second straight year. “I am grateful for this; the turkey they gave me is a blessing.”

The event originated when former Hempstead Village Mayor James Garner recognized the need for helping others in the community, according to Juanita Hargwood, executive director of the Hempstead Village Human Relations Council. The turkey donations came from various organizations, including Chamsarang Korean Methodist Church, Stop & Shop Supermarket, Hempstead Community Development Corporation and Health Plus.

“Our community has a lot of unemployed people due to the bad economy and they look forward to this every year,” said Hempstead Village Mayor Wayne J. Hall Sr. “Four hundred families will enjoy their turkeys on Thanksgiving, which is wonderful. Thanksgiving is a time of giving and helping families.”

Shirley Seymour of Hempstead couldn’t have been happier about her free turkey. She knows exactly how she will prepare her tasty Thanksgiving meal.

“I’m seasoning my turkey with seasoning salt and making stuffing, sweet potatoes and macaroni and cheese to go with it. My family is from Aiken, S.C., so I know how to make a good Southern meal,” she said.

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