Bea Gaddy’s Legacy Continues With Free Thanksgiving Dinner For Needy Families

BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Hundreds of hungry families are fed as Bea Gaddy’s Thanksgiving tradition continues.

Pat Warren reports, the gift is in the giving.

It’s a festival atmosphere for many in Patterson Park. There’s lots of good food, lot’s of good will and gratitude, and blessings for everybody.

“This is a true blessing,” said Aleatha Vance. “Thank God for this. I was one that didn’t have nothing to eat today. I’m glad to be here and to meet you.”

Bea Gaddy’s Baltimore Thanksgiving tradition started in 1981 when she bought a 50 cent lottery ticket and won $290. She bought food for Thanksgiving, and fed 39 of her neighbors from her house.

In the 31 years since that first meal, tens of thousands have come to the table on Thanksgiving Day.

“I think our mother would be proud of us,” said Sandra Chandler.

Since Bea Gaddy’s death in 2001 her daughter Sandra Chandler and family have keep her legacy alive with hundreds of volunteers pitching in.

“And make sure everyone eats, especially the homeless people, and we have so many homeless people in Baltimore right now,” said Master T, entertainer.

“They also get to take food home. That’s so wonderful,” said Ms. Maybelle, emcee.

“We will continue to serve the needy,” a volunteer said.

There’s also clothing and free turns in the barber chair.

“I think it’s cool. Everybody should get a haircut,” a boy said.

For those who knew Bea Gaddy, those who continue her legacy, those who contribute and those who benefit, Happy Thanksgiving.

Bea Gaddy’s women’s and children’s center provides housing and services year round.

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