TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – She spoke to me immediately.
“This means everything.”
She spoke to me freely.
“I did not know what I was going to do this year for my kids.”
She spoke to me like I had handed her every item she would need to prepare a delicious Thanksgiving dinner.
“I lost my job and everything so I got to take care of my kids, homeschool, and try to fill in the missing spots of a dad,” explained Dekeyta Penny, a single mother of three children. “When I come and pick this up, it brightens my day and it makes me feel better. It makes my world go round.”
Penny pulled into a parking lot across the street from Raymond James Stadium on Tuesday afternoon. A sea of smiling faces greeted her, filled her trunk with the essential ingredients, and wished her a “Happy Thanksgiving.”
“I ask God to continue to touch each and every one of your hearts,” said Penny, “that you may keep doing this for the unfortunate like myself and I thank God for you all and allowing you all to be able to do this.”
Penny and her children are one of more than 1,100 families benefiting from “Turkey Time with the O-Line.”
The event, which has been a part of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers organization for 14 years, provides Thanksgiving meals to the underserved families in the area. Those meals are purchased with the money donated by the offensive linemen and the coaches and, this year, that amount that exceeded $40,000.
“Thank you so much again,” said Penny, “because my family, it is small but it is appreciative.”
She could hardly contain her excitement hopping out of the car to try to hug the volunteers responsible for loading it. They settled on a tap of the knuckles.
“Thank you, God, for the Bucs,” Penny said with a smile, “because you are all showing out this year too. Woohoo! All of the love from a Bucs fan.”