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Thousands line up for LA turkey giveaway

November 23, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Jackson Limousine Service is making sure thousands of Southern Californians will have a happy Thanksgiving with its annual turkey dinner giveaway.Beginning at 6 a.m. Tuesday, the company handed out turkeys, fruit, vegetables, rice, cookies and more. Volunteers handed out 10,000 turkeys. They ran out of turkeys at about 2 p.m. Tuesday.

The lines stretched for several blocks. Hundreds of people camped out in the cold in the Crenshaw District to get a turkey and all the trimmings. Some people camped out since Saturday.

"I'm very grateful. If it had not been for Jackson Limousine, I don't know where I would've been getting my Thanksgiving dinner from this year," said South Los Angeles resident Ramona Gibson, who camped out since Saturday night.

"I'm so overwhelmed. I just can't believe it. I just thank God. I said a prayer before I left the house, and he answered it," said 91-year-old Ida Singleton.

The generosity began 24 years ago when E.J. Jackson, the owner of Jackson Limousine, decided he could give back to the community with the help of sponsors and volunteers.

"It shows you what we can do as Americans, how we can work together and make this happen," said Jackson.

Jackson is making Thanksgiving possible for many families. Michelle Coulter lost her job of 20 years two months ago.

"This is a blessing just to get a turkey," said Coulter.

Organizers said they've never seen so many people turn out for the annual event.