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Father, son provide Thanksgiving meals all year

4:20 PM, Jan 11, 2013   |    comments
Reec and Gordon Maurice Swiney, Jr. (Courtesy PAYUSA)
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MABLETON, Ga. -- Soup kitchens and food pantries overflow with volunteers and donations around the holidays, but many families need help beyond November and December.

So a Mableton father and son give away Thanksgiving meals year round.

"You get a box of food -- a frozen turkey, hen or or ham -- and side items like green beans, corn, cranberry sauce, rice, stuffing," said Reec Swiney.

He and his dad Gordon Maurice Swiney, Jr. run the nonprofit Positive American Youth (PAYUSA) and partner with Majic 107.5/97.5 for Thanksgiving Thursdays.

Every Thursday, Majic midday host Carol Blackmon invites listeners in need to call in for help. The first five callers receive a free Thanksgiving meal. PAYUSA also takes requests directly.

"Every Thursday we feed families, no matter if it's November or July," Blackmon said. "They know they can always put dinner on the table because of the great efforts of PAYUSA and of course Majic."

Blackmon calls the Swineys her Supermen. "They always deliver," she said.

Reec estimates they help feed nearly 40 families each week and reach hundreds more with other community programs and partners like the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta and the Atlanta Community Food Bank.

"They all come from need," he said. He credits his father with teaching him to give back when he was young.

"I was a single parent," Gordon said. "My son came to live with me and to make sure he stayed out of trouble, I started him volunteering." He said they used to feed the hungry and visit hospitals.

"It wasn't something I calculated; it's just what you're supposed to do," he added. "All my life, people have helped me."

Now, the two are paying it forward together. For more on PAYUSA and Thanksgiving Thursdays, visit payusa.org.

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