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Here's how you can help your neighbors have a Happy Thanksgiving

Posted at 9:00 AM, Oct 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-24 17:48:37-04

CLEVELAND — It’s the cycle of life. You grow up, you move on. Then, if you’re Johnnie Grimes, you give back. Grimes was raised in Cleveland’s Garden Valley neighborhood. He hasn’t lived there in years, but neighbors say he has a hand in anything positive that’s happening in the community.

Grimes told News 5, he wishes more people appreciated the neighborhood like he does.

“This is my hood, this is where I’m from,” he said. There may not be much left from his days in the community. But one thing hasn’t changed: the need.

That’s why Grimes is organizing a turkey drive to help feed families for the holidays. It’s not the first time he came up with a way to give back to this community that raised him.

Aisia Jones is the Wraparound Coordinator at Anton Grdina Elementary School. She told News 5 Johnnie “was like a surprise, almost like a little angel.” She’s talking about the end of this summer, when Grimes organized a school supply drive for the kids at Anton Grdina. He chipped in too, offering backpacks covered in characters and filled with compassion.

Now Grimes is asking for help making sure every Garden Valley family has a turkey to carve this Thanksgiving. If you’re interested in donating he’ll be collecting turkeys every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. You can drop one off between 9:00 A.M. and 1:00 P.M. at the Garden Valley Neighborhood House, 7100 Kinsman Rd. Make sure to tell them it’s for the Garden Valley Community Drive. Last year he was able to collect 700 turkeys to hand out the week before Thanksgiving. This year his goal is 1,000.

This story is part of A Better Land, an ongoing series that investigates Northeast Ohio's deep-seated systemic problems. Additionally, it puts a spotlight on the community heroes fighting for positive change in Cleveland and throughout the region. If you have an idea for A Better Land story, tell us here.