Through his foundation, former University of Maryland Terrapin and former professional basketball player Steve Francis helped members of the community where he grew up enjoy a Thanksgiving meal this holiday season.
The Steve Francis Foundation’s eighth Turkey & Trimmings event in Takoma Park provided more than 1,000 families from the Takoma Park and Silver Spring area with food packages that included not only turkeys, but canned vegetables, beans, pasta, sauce, rice, rolls and cranberry sauce as well.
“I think it was something I always wanted to do since when I was a kid,” Francis said.
The Steve Francis Foundation partnered with Adventist Community Services of Greater Washington, which coordinated the distribution, raised funds and reached out to the recipient families among other things.
Francis’ knowledge of Adventist Community Services goes back to his childhood.
“I used to play ball right across the street from them,” Francis said.
For the first three years of the Takoma Park program, which started in 2005, Francis said he would go door to door handing out food in two apartment buildings on Maple Avenue, including the one he grew up in.
He continues to help hand out the food in the events’ distribution lines, though he was unable to attend the event in Takoma Park this year.
The Takoma Park native’s foundation also helped provide Thanksgiving dinners this year in Houston, where Francis now lives, and has held events in other cities as well.
“To me, it’s more like something you feel you have to do,” he said.