It was barely light outside on November 11, 2017, and Jenelle Crawford, a proud resident of the Southside of Fort Worth, was already waiting in her car outside the Hillside Community and Family Services Center for a Thanksgiving meal.
“I wanted to be the first one in line to get my turkey because I believe there is going to be a long line out here and I didn’t want to not get one, plus my son wanted to see yall hop and jump around” said Jenelle with a big smile.
Jenelle Crawford, who is battling cancer, has been coming to the Epsilon Alpha Turkey Trot give away for the last four years. This year she is accompanied by her 15-year-old son Mario, and her younger niece LaQuesha. She said she's grateful to be alive and to be able to share another Thanksgiving with her kids, family, and friends.
“It means a lot to me, especially for people on the Southside. A lot of us are low-income and middle-class people, just working hard and looking for a little help." Crawford said. "They (Omega Men) help the poor people, and they help all of us. Just last week one of them gave my cousin a jump when his car was broken down on Riverside"
Just then Teddy Jones, one of the two Epsilon Alpha coordinators stated, “There's going to be plenty of turkeys, ma’am. We were blessed this year to have received over and beyond, the number of donations that we expected.”
Over a hundred and thirty turkeys will be handed out this year. We set a goal of just helping the community by giving out fifty turkeys, but the love and generosity from the chapter (Epsilon Alpha members), as well as the community, touched us, as they continued to pour donations into us, allowing us to be able to bless over 100 families. I am in amazement and happy all at the same time.”
Jerry McDowell the other Epsilon Alpha coordinator stated, “Our partnership again broke a record”. "This year was outstanding, and the cold and rainy weather we have had lately did not deter people from coming out to donate and support and today I look forward to giving back to the less fortunate and seeing their faces light up."
And despite Teddy and Jerry urging Jenelle Crawford to come back in a couple hours, after everything had been setup and it was a little warmer, Jenelle, said she was willing to brave the elements with her son and niece to keep her spot to make sure she didn’t go home empty-handed.
“I’m going to stay in the car drinking some hot chocolate and stay warm.” Crawford stated. “I'm grateful for them, and for this turkey.”
A couple hours later, Jenelle Crawford, was blessed to be given her turkey and her son was able to speak to several of the men of Omega on a personal level, even though no hopping was had.
The Turkey Trot giveaway was from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. at the Hillside Community Center in Fort Worth, TX. The Turkey Trot was a free event designed to benefit lower income families and provide them with food, fun, and a means to hopefully a better life. It was a joint effort event in conjunction with the Parks and Recreation Department of Fort Worth and several other community and non-profit business and organizations.