CAIRO — Five hundred turkeys are set to be given away Tuesday, Nov. 26 at Washington Middle School.
Beginning at 11 a.m., turkeys supplied by Cairo IGA, as well as stuffing, green beans, yams and cranberry sauce, will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.
Another 75 elderly or disabled individuals across the county will have their Thanksgiving feasts delivered to them.
Assisting in the giveaway this year will be youth volunteers from the Jackie Robinson Boys & Girls Club, members of the Cairo High School cheerleading squad, football team and honors society and youth members of the Order of the Eastern Star.
Atlanta Falcons safety JJ Wilcox personally spent more than $11,000 on the Thanksgiving meals, a tradition that began six years ago when the Cairo native gave away 200 turkeys.
"It was so successful that he's been doing 500 ever since," said Teresa Hardy, who coordinated the giveaway.
Wilcox will not be able to attend the giveaway personally due to professional football obligations.
It was Wilcox's mother Marshell, a former youth development worker at the Boys & Girls Club, who encouraged him to prioritize helping those in need, Hardy said.
After Marshell passed away in 2013, Wilcox started the turkey giveaway.
"He wanted a way to give back to his community," Hardy said.