The E.J. Jackson Foundation’s Annual Thanksgiving Turkey Giveaway

Author: Pat Prescott

Every year at Thanksgiving time, thousands of people in LA county sit down to a delicious Thanksgiving turkey with all the trimmings courtesy of E.J. Jackson, founder of the legendary Jackson Limousine company and the E.J. Jackson Foundation. This is the largest giveaway of its kind and we want The WAVE Family to help keep it going. E.J. and Lynne Tavai from the Foundation stopped by the morning show today to tell us the story of how E.J. has taken his own hard times and turned the experience into a good one for people in need.

We talked a little more about the Turkey giveaway and E.J. acknowledges how vital his staff and volunteers are to the success of the event. His inspiration is his own experience with homelessness. He says that an ounce of hope turned his life around and he only hopes that he can help others to do the same. Lynne says that he has inspired all of them to follow his lead. Since E.J. finances much of the Turkey Grocery giveaway himself, our hope is that the Wave family will help support his efforts.

Tyson Foods is one sponsor that has stepped up to the plate to assist E.J. but a lot of us don’t realize that by making a small donation, we can all help keep this giveaway going. Last year, a Wave listener contributed $1000 and many of us made smaller donations that helped facilitate the giveaway. Recently, E.J. and the Foundation have also been helping some of the homeless families living downtown at 39th and Figueroa, bringing them fruit, cases of water and bath towelettes. Lynne says sometimes people just need a hug.

One of the coolest memories E.J. has related to the giveaway is when a woman who received Thanksgiving dinner one year, came back a few years later and made a donation of $400 after she got back on her feet. People who take advantage of the free dinners don’t have to deal with a lot of red tape. There is no random selection of recipients and no politics involved. People show up as early as three or four days in advance and camp out to wait. There’s a lot of care and love in what E.J. and his staff and volunteers are doing. Please consider making a tax free donation to The E.J. Jackson Foundation as part of your end of the year giving.

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