HYDE PARK (CBSLA.com) —When it comes to Los Angeles Thanksgiving traditions, few things top EJ Jackson’s Annual Turkey Day Give Away.

Jackson, the owner of Jackson Limousines, was at one point homeless himself. This marks the 32nd year he has handed out 10,000 turkeys and full Thanksgiving meals to those in need.

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“Last night, I started hyperventilating, isn’t that crazy? Something you’ve been doing for 32 years and hyperventilating because I just really get off on this. I really love helping people,” he said. “I am so happy so blessed to be part of this.”

Volunteers were working through the night Monday as people lined up around the block and camped out to ensure they get a turkey dinner Tuesday morning.

South L.A. resident Anthony Shepard was among them.

“We heard they were giving out free turkeys. It’s a blessing that they are doing this for us and we thought we would come out here and get some for our family,” he said.

“I came Sunday morning,” Henrietta Elliot added as she waited.

Many of the 300-plus volunteers, like TJ Falls, return year after year.

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“I enjoy doing it, and I get in the holiday spirit. It just makes me feel good to be helping,” she said.

Jackson will begin handing out the turkeys at 10 a.m. Tuesday.

The giveaway will follow a day after 10,000 turkeys were handed out to families in need in Compton.

Monday was the 10th Annual Turkey Give Away for residents of Assemblyman Isadore Hall III’s 64th district.

In addition to the turkeys, residents were offered free diabetes and blood pressure screenings and help in signing up for Covered California health insurance.


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More Than 10K Turkeys Given Away To South LA Families In Need