Marion Barry's turkey giveaway draws crowd

It's becoming a tradition in Councilman Marion Barry's Ward 8. Residents line up outside Union Temple Church to receive free turkeys unloaded by parolees doing their community service and passed out by volunteers.

This year, Barry raised $38,000 to buy 2,000 turkeys.

"We have more need in this ward than anywhere in the city, almost anywhere in America with unemployment at 35 percent,” Barry said.

He also brought the Peterson brothers with him to help. Both are boxers who will fight at the Convention Center Dec. 10 (the fight will be shown on HBO) and both grew up on the streets of D.C.

"When we was younger, we didn't have Thanksgiving,” said Anthony Peterson. “So it's an honor and a blessing to be passing them out."

At one point, Barry said parents with school-aged children would have to prove they had attended PTA meetings to get a turkey, but later dropped that requirement.

Even so, two vice principals from Ballou High were collecting 300 turkeys to entice parents and students to reach academic goals.