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‘People are in need’: KC-area barber’s annual Turkey Tuesday Drive embraces spirit of giving


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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The season of giving is in full swing as the community comes together to spread kindness and generosity.

Leading the charge is Joey Thomas, a Kansas City-area barber who is hosting his 16th annual Turkey Tuesday Drive to ensure that families in need can enjoy a Thanksgiving feast.

“16 years ago to now, we felt the need,” Thomas said. “It’s just grown. You know, the need is even more now.”

As Thanksgiving approaches, Joey the Barber has kicked off his Turkey Tuesday Drive, a tradition that has become a beacon of hope for local families facing economic challenges. The drive aims to provide Thanksgiving turkeys and basic needs to those who may otherwise go without.

“The beauty of it is that you got this uniqueness because on Tuesday we get to work with a body in the community of people that are in a position to give, per se. And then on that Wednesday we work with a body of people that’s in the position that needs,” Thomas said. “So when we combine those two worlds, we try to get wraparound services and wraparound resources.”

His initiative is part of the Know Joey? Foundation, his organization playing a vital role in giving back to families in need in the Kansas City area. This year, Harvesters is joining the foundation, the Kansas City Royals and Urban Youth Academy in an effort to feed even more families than in years past.

“It’s the communities that’s taking care of the communities,” Thomas said. “So we have a community of people, again, that’s in a position to give, that’s helping take care of the community of people that might need.”

The drive will be held at the Urban Youth Academy located at 1622 East 16th Terrace in Kansas City, Missouri. The 12-hour drive will begins at 8 a.m. and runs until 8 p.m., where they will collect all donations from frozen turkeys to canned good, vegetables as well as other non-perishable items, Thomas said

“With the inflation on the rise, people going through what they going through financially,” Thomas said. “It’s a lot of people that’s gonna be in need with just a little bit of assistance. So we’re trying to help where we can.”

All donations collected will then be distributed on Win Wednesday. The Know Joey? Foundation along with numerous community partners will help connect families with resources, especially those around mental health. In addition to resources, families needing a Thanksgiving meal can pick up their turkey and all the sides. It all starts at 10 a.m. on Wednesday and runs to 1 p.m.

All families wanting to pick up meals need to sign-up to ensure they are provided with the proper resources. You can also find more information on locations to drop-off your donations in Kansas and Missouri on the foundation’s website.

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