Gardena residents, surrounding communities get free turkeys ahead of Thanksgiving

State Senator Steven Bradford gives out 1,000 free turkeys in Gardena ahead of Thanksgiving.
GARDENA, Calif. (KABC) -- The COVID pandemic has affected so many this year, which is why State Senator Steven Bradford wanted to bring a little holiday cheer by handing out free turkeys at the Gardena Carson Family YMCA ahead of Thanksgiving.

"We're just trying to get a turkey for Thanksgiving. We really can't afford it," said San Pedro resident Cristina Rodriguez. "I appreciate it. It's great. It's a great service for the people in the community."

"You often say you run for office for one of two reasons, to be something or do something," Bradford said. "We're doing something and that's the only reason I'm in public service to be able to help my community and give back."

This is Bradford's 10th annual turkey drive, but it's the first time that it's strictly drive-thru for the purposes of the pandemic. With the help of 25 volunteers and a few sponsors, they handed out 1,000 turkeys to the community.

"This is having a tremendous impact and it's being expressed by the gratitude that we hear from all the families who really appreciate it," Bradford said. "I'm personally moved by it but I'm more impressed by all the partners who have come on board to make this day possible."

The drive-thru event u took place with the help of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Triple A and a few others. The community members said the giveaway made a big difference for their Thanksgiving.

"People like myself, it's hard to go pick up a turkey that can't afford the turkey because our finances and trying to keep a roof over our family's head," said Gardena resident Carlos Montes. "We were blessed to be able to get a turkey here and help out the family on Thanksgiving night."

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