College student gives away turkeys

Published 9:33 am Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Darnell Lee Jr. hands a turkey to Briana Stephens Saturday at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center in Franklin.

FRANKLIN—Darnell Lee Jr. got the idea to give turkeys to needy families during a conversation he had with his father.

“Me and my dad were talking on the porch saying how blessed I was,” he said.

Since then, Lee started the Lending a Hand Foundation to help the community.

“I wanted to give back some of what’s been given to me,” said Lee, a 21-year-old senior recreation major at Shaw University in Raleigh, N.C.

On Saturday, Lee and a number of other volunteers handed out turkeys and other Thanksgiving meal essentials to families at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center in Franklin for the second straight year. A number of individuals and organizations donated to make the giveaway possible.

Lee’s father said they had about 80 turkeys to distribute on Saturday and had already handed some out earlier in the week. Darnell Lee Sr. said he’s pleased that his son wanted to give back to the community.

“It made me real proud of him, that he wanted to step out and do something like that,” he said.

Recipients were grateful.

“I think it’s very much needed,” Viola Lovell said after picking up her turkey. “I think it’s a good thing that they’re trying to help because so many aren’t going to have it.”

Lee, a 2007 graduate of Southampton High School, said he plans to continue the event annually.