The children at the Boys & Girls Club of Fort Valley have long been the recipient of the generosity of the Macon chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police.
And on Saturday, the latest example was the club receiving 25 turkeys and sides to give out to some of its families in time for Thanksgiving. The W.L. “Sparky’ O’Cain Lodge #3 in Macon is distributing 200 Thanksgiving meals to Middle Georgia agencies like the Boys & Girls Club, the Rescue Mission of Middle Georgia and the Salvation Army of Central Georgia.
The FOP is also involved in several other fundraisers throughout the year, including the shop with law enforcement and back to school shopping initiatives.
Whether it’s taking some kids shopping for school supplies or giving some struggling families food during the holiday season, the Macon lodge’s members makes sure to reach out to the Fort Valley Boys & Girls Club, program director Harine Beshea said.
“This year they called and said, ‘Hey we got some turkeys for you for the families you have in need so if anyone just come pick them up, that’ll be fine,’” Beshea said. “They’re very persistent with us. They always look out for us. They’re always there when we need them.”
The turkey giveaway has been tradition for about two decades for the Macon lodge, president Danny Thigpin said.
Early Saturday morning, members of the FOP loaded the turkey and sides onto a trailer from the Walmart on Harrison Road. The bags also included green beans, stuffing and cranberry sauce.
“It’s nice knowing you are doing something for Middle Georgia families so they will have something to feed their families with: turkey with all the trimmings,” Thigpin said.
Georgia State FOP President W.R. “Randy” Robertson said the Macon lodge sets a precedent with its charitable efforts for other chapters to follow. Robertson visited the Macon lodge Saturday morning as they gave out the turkey’s that will be gobbled up next week.
Although there has been much debate about the relationship that law enforcement has with some communities, the turkey meal giveaway is an example of the outreach many current and former officers from Macon-Bibb County feel is a duty, Robertson said.
“These law enforcement offices see taking care of the at-risk or at-need community as a priority,” he said. “They set the example and appreciate those individuals that live in those neighborhoods because they’re our friends, they’re our brothers and sisters.”
While the Macon FOP chapter was donating Thanksgiving dinners, there was another similar effort underway in Fort Valley.
The Feed the City organization hosted its annual Thanksgiving giveaway by providing all the fixings during an event held at Hope Church in Fort Valley.
Since 1997, the nonprofit agency has provided 23,000 meals to school children in the city, a news release said.