Goldsboro officer's 'Hopesgiving' feast comes from desire to serve
Posted November 25, 2021 3:20 p.m. EST
Updated November 25, 2021 3:37 p.m. EST
Goldsboro, N.C. — A 23-year-old Goldsboro police officer nearly went broke in his attempt to feed people for Thanksgiving.
Once the community heard about his gesture, others pitched in with donations.
During a turbulent holiday season marred by COVID-19 in 2020, Ja'Shawn Faire started 'Hopesgiving,' an effort to feed those in search of a delicious meal consistent with the holiday. He started working with the Goldsboro Police Department this year, so he's familiar with community service and putting others before himself.
He said he's been giving back to the community since high school, but Faire got more ambitious with his charitable efforts when the pandemic left many without basic needs like jobs, homes and food.
"So I said why not do it, and even with the pandemic I thought it was tough," he said. "I thought we weren’t going to be able to do well with it, but we actually were able to bless over 100 people last year."
In 2020, Faire spared no expense, maxing out his credit cards from buying turkeys. He didn't have a steady income yet, but still made a measurable impact.
When friends heard about repeating his Herculean efforts this year, they pitched in to help. Checks for $300, $500 and even $1,000 came in.
"People started hearing about our vision and hearing about what we’re doing and hearing about the people we’re serving, and all of a sudden, they just started sending checks," Faire said.
Last year, there were around 10 turkeys. This year, there's more than 40 turkeys, hundreds of chicken legs and holiday favorites like macaroni-and-cheese, stuffing and more as he attempts to feed 500. Faire said he wants to make next year's event an even bigger ordeal and has already secured a location.
"Losing jobs, people doing the unemployment benefits, people losing family members, it was a lot," said Faire. "The pandemic really had a hard hit, especially in this city."
"This is just something I love to do from my heart, especially to have the people come in and help with it."