Over the past four years, Vince Wilfork and wife Bianca have helped thousands of families put Thanksgiving dinner on the table. Each November, through the Vince Wilfork Foundation, the two provide turkeys to those in need in Bianca's hometown of Gainesville, Fla. This year, though, their annual Thanksgiving Turkey Blessing Giveaway is set to be bigger than ever before thanks to additional support from Patriots rookie Dominique Easley.
All three have connections to the Sunshine State; both Vince and Bianca hail from Florida, while Dominique spent his college years as a student-athlete with the Gators. For Bianca, that made him the perfect person to recruit for the project.
"The minute she met [Dominique], she had her mind set on partnering up with him since he is a Gator," Vince explained.
But it didn't take much to convince Dominique, who is happy to follow Vince's lead, describing him as "a great role model on and off the field." Plus, the Patriots rookie said he's eager to give back to a community that gave him so much.
"The people there always made me feel at home," he explained, adding that as a native New Yorker, he really noticed the sense of community during his years in Gainesville.
Although it's Dominique's first time supporting the Thanksgiving Turkey Blessing Giveaway, the event has become an annual tradition for Vince and Bianca, who describe it as a privilege.
"To be able to give my community something like a turkey that can help them during the holidays is such a blessing," Bianca said. "It isn't going to change their life but it will at least give them one less thing to worry about and help to bring a family to a table to give thanks."
The turkeys will be distributed on Thursday, November 21. They are available for members of the Gainesville community, with some earmarked for area churches as well as local Head Start families. For more information on how to sign up, call Mount Carmel Baptist Church at 352-378-7322.