Geoffrey’s Inner Circle owner Geoffrey Pete chats with one of the volunteer as they prepare to feed needy families and homeless people on Thanksgiving Day.
As people lined up on fourteenth street, getting ready to enter into Geoffrey’s Inner Circle for a Thanksgiving day feast, dozens of volunteers were busy upstairs getting into position. This was the 12th annual Thanksgiving feast hosted by Oakland Businessman Geoffrey Pete at his night club and event space.
“This is my way of giving back,” said Pete. “This is how I was raised and things like this, existed in the black community when I was coming up.”
Ke Selah Crockett, one of the organizers of the turkey dinner give away, said they expected to feed over five hundred people, ranging from families, to homeless people in the downtown area, to people who want and need a hot meal.
“Unfortunately there is a need,” said Crockett. “Fortunately, the people of Oakland have answered the call to help.”
Former Oakland native and NBA player Antonio Davis and current NBA player Aaron Gordon from the Orlando Magic, were sponsors of the event. Several people from in and around the Oakland community came out to help set up, feed and greet the people who were looking for a hot cooked meal on Thanksgiving day.
“I wanted to help those in need,” said Zakiya Jendayi, a Community College professor, who come out to volunteer. “This is my way of giving back to the community. We also need to support the businesses in the community that help to make this happen.”
Jendayi worked in the food line, setting up plates for the people who came upstairs to eat. They were greeted by other volunteers who seated the people eating. Other volunteers served refreshments and made the people eating dinner feel welcomed.
There was another reason, she volunteered.
“I brought my niece for a reality check,” added Jendayi. “You never know how our circumstances can change.”
This sentiment was also shared by Ricorah Wanzo, a longshoremen, who brought her teenage son to help volunteer.
“I wanted to show my teenage son, that he needs to be grateful for what we have,” said Wanzo. “I have been fortunate and I wanted to help people in need. “
Free Haircuts were also taking place below at the Moods and Attitude beauty shop, which was located directly underneath Geoffrey’s.
“Over the years, we have fed thousands of people,” continued Pete. “This is s small way to do something, that will help people in the community.”