GULFPORT, Mississippi (WLOX) – COVID-19 prompted many families to skip their traditional Thanksgiving celebrations last year. And while many are eager to bring the family back to the table, others say it’s still too early.
The organizers of a turkey giveaway at Lockett Williams’ mortuary in Gulfport wanted to address both sides on Monday by offering both free turkeys and free COVID vaccinations.
“It is such a blessing to be able to give back to the community. Chris and I, coming from East Biloxi, come from a poor environment and we just like to give back when we are available, ”said Joshua Mitchell of Brick and Spoon.
The company provided hot meals to all who came to the event. However, they were far from the only ones who made the event possible. Bancorp South staff played a vital role in making the event a reality. Many said they were looking forward to spending the holidays with their families.
“Looking back with COVID and not being able to really interact with our families, we were still separated. But now this year we finally all come together, ”said Michelle Sabulao-Conner.
Event organizer and state representative Sonya Williams Barnes ensured that the rally provided attendees with a way to protect themselves and their families.
“Families come together. Many African American families and others are not vaccinated. So it’s important for us to make sure that as many people as possible are vaccinated, ”said Representative Barnes.
The Singing River and Ochsner vaccination tent helped alleviate the concerns of many community members. More than 15 people have stopped to receive a reminder to further protect their loved ones in the days to come.
“A feeling of relief knowing that I can start spending more time with my family. A great relief. It feels good, ”said shooting recipient Angela Saucier.
The group handed out over 200 turkeys that will be the centerpiece of a celebration this week, and it’s something that brought a smile to all of the volunteers.
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