Pensacola Man Hands Out Free Turkeys to Families in Need

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On Wednesday, we joined Shaun Hartsfield of HYPE Pensacola as he bought Thanksgiving turkeys to give to families in need.  Thursday night, we went to St. Johns Baptist Church, where families who registered for the Thanksgiving birds picked them up.  One family even said without this, they wouldn’t have a Thanksgiving dinner this year.

Through the doors, Hartsfield is passing out turkeys.  HYPE, Helping Youth in Pensacola Endure, was able to purchase 85 turkeys to give to families in need.

“Yeah, I feel excited,” Hartsfield said.  “It’s good to be able to give back to the community, to those in need.”

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Hundreds of dollars of donations were used to buy the turkeys.  Families then registered online to make sure they went to people who really needed them.

“A coworker told me about it,” said Loreyanna Johnson, about how she heard about the giveaway.  “She said, ‘You just send an email and get a confirmation,’ and I got a confirmation number right back.”

There are many different parts to HYPE.  Sports is one of them.  Right now, they’re towards the end of their football season.  It was important for the team to do some good work before a big tournament this weekend.

“One of the things we wanted to do when we started out program hype is to give back to the community, and be connected with the community, and help them with the things they need help with,” said Hartsfield.

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Providing meals to people who may not have been able to have Thanksgiving has been a part of HYPE for a few years.

“This is something I wasn’t going to be able to do, but now I can pull a meal together for my kids and that makes me feel good,” said Johnson.

All along the way, everyone made sure to give thanks for the gifts.

HYPE gave out the turkeys a week early to relieve some of the last minute stress involved in pulling together a big Thanksgiving meal.

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