Richmond organization honors Essex Village seniors with Thanksgiving meal

Updated: Nov. 22, 2017 at 3:58 PM EST
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Tamar Braxton and Karla Redditte (Source: NBC12)
Tamar Braxton and Karla Redditte (Source: NBC12)

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Thanksgiving came a day early for the senior citizens of Essex Village Apartments.

They were treated to a meal with all of the trimmings and other surprises, and it was all courtesy of a man who simply wanted to do something to honor his grandmother.

Lots of food, lots of folks, and lots of fun filled this room here in Essex Village.

"I had turkey, green beans, seafood salad, and creamed potatoes," said resident Dorothy Massey.

However, in addition to all of that, these seniors were treated to something that filled more than their stomachs. They were treated to an experience that filled their souls.

"I think it's so blessed to come together as a team, as neighbors, just as loved ones you know because I know that sometimes your biologicals are not there, but God will put you with a family," said Massey.

Family and relationships is what it was all about, which is why Coaches Against Violence Everywhere (CAVE) co-founder Maurice Tyler and a group of volunteers came together to give back to people who have given so much to our community in their own way over the years.

"I just wanted to show appreciation, and show them that it is people that care," said Tyler. "My grandmother passed away a while back, and I just wanted to do something, you know, for seniors in honor of my grandmother."

Volunteers served the seniors, laughed with them, and simply made them feel special - a feeling that sometimes escapes this particular group.

"Essex Village has some bad press, but what we all have to realize is that there are people that live over here," said Tyler.

Today, the spotlight was on them, showing them that there are people who think of them and are thankful for them.

"Hallelujah. Glory," said Massey.

A special guest also surprised the seniors - singer and television personality Tamar Braxton. She stopped by to serve the seniors, as well as encourage them. She also took the time to deliver meals to those who were not able to come out for Wednesday's special dinner.

We walked and talked with the star as she made those deliveries, and she says making time to help out in communities is her responsibility.

"It's not all about the glitz and the glam. You know, sometimes, you know having a conversation with somebody who watches you on television or listen to your music, can change their lives. And how much time does that take out of your day? Five minutes? Two minutes? That's nothing. You know what I mean, but it's everything to someone else," said Braxton.

Tamar went inside each home to talk to, hug, and take pictures with the seniors, and it definitely made their day. She is in town for her concert Wednesday night. It's part of the Great XScape Tour at the Richmond Coliseum.

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