By Mike Kinney
Community groups and volunteers gathered at Phila Burger Station in Richmond for a third consecutive year on Sunday to pass out 300 turkeys with all the fixings to local residents in need.
Sam Lee, owner of Phila Burger Station at 1100-23rd Street, said he was approached three years ago by Alex Valencia, the president of the La Diferencia Truck Club and another local car club about using the business parking lot for their Thanksgiving giveaway.
“I thought it was a great idea to do the event here,” Lee said.
Volunteers from La Diferencia Truck Club, Hernadez Party Rentals, Richmond Fire Fighters Local 188, Living Hope Neighborhood Church and other groups helped distribute the food.
Valencia said that his 13-year-old son Alex, Jr. sold hot chocolate on 23rd Street in front of Rosita’s and raised $1,500 dollars to contribute to the Thanksgiving Giveaway event.
“It is so beautiful when everybody gets involved like this,” Valencia said. “Richmond is my backyard and I feel proud when I can help our community by doing this during Thanksgiving.”
Five members of the Martinez family who are part of JM Charity, a charitable organization the Standard recently featured that is connected to Richmond business JM Customz, helped fill up grocery bags with turkeys and all of the fixings to be ready for community members when they would drive up in their vehicles. Jairo Martinez noted the importance of volunteerism.
“We are sending a beautiful message to our community today,” said Martinez, who founded JM Charity with his family and another charitable organization, La Diferencia, with his friends. “We know that a little bit can go a long way. And when you do things to help the community, it motivates others to come help too.”
Binder Bains, a volunteer said he relished in a positive experience at a difficult time in the world.
“It is so great that we have an opportunity to help today and make a difference during the Thanksgiving season for families,” Bains said.