by Melanie Camp
Turkey Day is on the way, and while many prepare for a Thanksgiving Turkey Coma, some families on the Westside face a holiday with no turkey at all. This is why, on November 19, Badge of Heart will host it’s 2nd Annual Turkey Giveaway.
“We are planning to giveaway 500 Turkeys and side items to deserving low-income families in the Venice, Mar Vista, Westchester, and Culver City areas,” says Badge of Heart founder Officer Ken Lew of Los Angeles Police Department’s Pacific Division.
Police Officers from LAPD Pacific Division, and people working at local schools, churches, and youth groups, will help decide who gets the turkey dinners. Lews says it’s these people who witness first hand the hardship faced by low-income families on the Westside.
“I see on a daily basis the emotional and financial struggle that hard working families endure. I wanted to help find a way to offer assistance to those good, hard-working families, who so desperately require a helping hand,” says Lew.
This year’s Turkey Giveaway has come off the back of a rewarding first fundraiser.
“Last year’s event was a huge success. Hundreds of deserving families came by and many were emotionally touched by our offerings. Many told me, that Thanksgiving would not have been possible if not for our event. Personally, it was touching to see all those kids walk away carrying a bag of Turkey and other goodies. The expression on their faces was priceless. It’s about the kids,” says Lew.
The aim this year is to raise enough money for 500 turkeys and all the trimmings. A $20 donation will help feed a family of four. $100 will feed five families. You can donate here.
Lew says the idea to start a Badge of Heart was inspired by what he saw over 26 years of service with LAPD. The community-driven non-profit works to help provide relief for low-income families and victims of crime in the West Los Angeles area.
“In my years of being an officer I have paid for people’s meals, I have bought them clothes, I have got them groceries and I have seen other officers do this as well, but we don’t say anything. We just do it and that’s it, we leave. We don’t talk about it because it can be embarrassing for people that they can’t afford to feed their kids or buy new clothes,” says Lew.
As a rule, Badge of Heart prefers to work quietly in the community, identifying and giving to those who need help most. However, right now, Lew wants to make some noise and assist those who are struggling this Thanksgiving.
To feed a family a turkey dinner this Thanksgiving, go to BadgeofHeart.org