Thanksgiving community coat drive serves those in need

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A non-profit organization held its second annual “Free Fall Feast” in Springfield Saturday.

Springfield’s DeBerry Elementary School was packed with families Saturday for a pre-Thanksgiving feast.

The Black Men of Greater Springfield and community activist Tashea Jenkins worked together to create this community event.

“We want anyone to feel free coming here,” said William Zachary, president of the non-profit organization. “Sitting down, getting something they could desperately use and not feeling judged in the whole process.”

“That was my goal, we were hoping every year it would increase,” added Jenkins. “People could come out to eat, it’s all you can eat, you can pass that up, and I am grateful I prayed.”

Saturday’s Free Fall Feast included a typical Thanksgiving dinner with all the fixings. They also had a coat-give-away.

“It’s all about uniting the community coming together as one,” said Keith Peters of Springfield. “No matter what your background is or what your income is or where you’re from, just coming together for a positive event.”

Zachary told 22News more than 100 coats were distributed last year, and they aimed to exceed that amount this year.

The Black Men of Greater Springfield serves local black men in the community, by providing workshops, tutoring, and mentorship.

They concluded Saturday’s event with a “turkey-themed” raffle.

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