RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Thanksgiving is going to be different this year, with an abundance of safety precautions and calls for fewer people at the dinner table. This also means organizations that help the less fortunate must also adapt to COVID-19.
One Richmond man is going above and beyond to service his community this Thanksgiving. His organization will be providing 50 Thanksgiving Day bagged lunches in the City of Richmond.
“No one deserves to have an empty stomach,” said Mustapha A. Stephens, founder of If You Knew Better Do Better, LLC. “Especially on Thanksgiving.”
Stephens said even with all of the moving parts COVID created, he still had to do something for his city this holiday. He said it’s ironic to think about how many people won’t consider the less fortunate on a day meant to show how grateful and blessed you are.
When considering how he could help, Stephens said he knew local organizations that supply food to the community would be overwhelmed with demand this Thanksgiving. And families would be stressed and exhausted with all the confusion and chaos the coronavirus has caused.
“This has been an unpredictable year, but I want to be able to make it a little easier for people this holiday season,” he said.
Stephens and his team will be serving food in lunch bags from 11 a.m. to 1. pm. on Thanksgiving Day at the John Marshall Courts Building. They plan to serve Thanksgiving favorites like turkey and ham sandwiches, along with giving away deodorant and hand sanitizer to keep people safe and healthy going into the colder months.
When Stephens isn’t focused on his organization, he works as a Certified Sales Professional at Loyalty Toyota in Chesterfield. He said his job helps him stay grounded during the pandemic. For as many people that come in and want to buy a car, he said, there’s someone who can’t even afford to buy a meal.
“It’s easy to forget how blessed you are, but we have to always give back,” he said. “That’s why our mission is to empower the youth and empower our communities.”
Stephens said he’s appreciative of his support system because he’s taking a chance and doing something he’s never done before.
“I have to thank the man upstairs,” he said. “My family, friends and girlfriend have been a huge support and motivator throughout this process.”
He said he’s looking forward to seeing people come out, enjoy themselves, and most importantly, eat a warm meal on Thanksgiving Day.
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