Hip-Hop has so much to be grateful for: hit records, joint ventures with mega hedge funds, million dollar vacays in St. Barts, play money that they can maneuver from one digital bank to the next and of course a gang-load of fans that make it all possible.
So during this holiday season, emcees and celebrities alike must stop and give back to the community that supports them no matter what: The Hood.
Many rappers and moguls do it. They feed the homeless, they go to hospitals to kiss babies and they show their give back by writing big checks to programs that have a tradition of doing service in an exemplary way. The Source magazine is no exception.
This year, The Source stepped away from our normal rip and run to travel to the ‘Ville and support IAmWondaWoman’s 7th Annual Operation Gobble Turkey Giveaway. As partners, we worked with New York Giant Deon Grant & The Grant Foundation, NorthStar Charities, Man Up! and Grand Street Settlement to support Founder and Community Activist, Meda Leacock’s philanthropic vision. For weeks, she worked incredibly hard to rally up King County’s finest to give out over 300 turkeys to residents in Brownsville and East New York section of Brooklyn.
And the people were grateful.
Rappers Mysonne, Tek from Smiff-N-Wessun, DMX’s ex-wife Tashera Simmons and femcee turned actress, Lil’ Mama spent about 3-hours giving away turkeys at Unity Plaza Community Center.
Mysonne offered, “This event is important because these are the communities that we come from. When you are able to give back and people see you it makes the holiday just a little bit better.”
But Lil’ Mama’s reason to give back was even more personal. Her mother was raised in Unity Plaza and even got married in the hall where the Operation Gobble’s distribution took place. This homecoming was heart felt as people with tears in their eyes showed the America’s Best Dance Crew’s host with love and fond memories of her impact on their lives.
According to the New York Coalition Against Hunger, 1.5 million people live with food-insecurity in the Big Apple. As the statistic is shared with rappers and readers alike, The Source charges more people to support causes like IAmWondaWoman, Man Up! and The Grant Foundation (who provided manpower for the day). Like Lil’Mama (now professionally know by her birth name Niatia Kirkland), NorthStar Charities Founder and the chairman of The Source L. Londell McMillan has a personal reason to lend not just his resource but his heart to the effort, “The Brooklyn community raised me and it will always have a special place in my heart.”
Past celebrity participants include: Rashad Jennings, Shaun Rogers, Jay Bromley and Brandon Meriweather of the New York Giants, Calvin Pryor of the New York Jets, NBA players Rafer Alston, Robert “Don Pooh” Cummings, Anton Marchand, Jadakiss, Jim Jones and more. Additional donations will be given to Our Lady of Charity and Brookdale Hospital’s Live Light Live Right Campaign.