ASO, veterans groups team up for 10th annual Thanksgiving food giveaway in Gainesville

Published: Nov. 25, 2019 at 11:46 PM EST
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Alachua County Sheriff's Office deputies, veterans and other volunteers gathered at the Southwest Advocacy Group Family Resource Center in Gainesville Monday to distribute free Thanksgiving food to local families.

“God has been good to me, but things could go south on me, and you never know, and if that happened, I’d want somebody to help me out, too," said veteran Don Sherry. "That’s the American way. That’s what we’re all about.”

“We need to be able to share the good graces that we’ve had and to let other people understand the bounty that we have and to share that," said volunteer Candy Birch. "That was the whole point of Thanksgiving in the first place.”

This is the 10th year these groups have come together to put on this special community event.

“And it’s always so well-attended. There’s always a line," said ASO Sheriff Sadie Darnell. "I’ve been here some years when it’s freezing cold, pouring down rain, and people still are coming because they have such a need and they want to celebrate the holiday time."

Some volunteers, like Sherry, keep coming back to help out year after year.

“Every year it gets bigger," said Sherry, "and quite frankly, there are families that wouldn’t have Thanksgiving dinner if it wasn’t for this.”

The Southwest Advocacy Group Says they gave away more than 240 turkeys this year.