Syracuse, NY — For the 5th year, former Syracuse basketball star Eric Devendorf spent a Saturday morning repaying the kindness of a community that showed him so much. Less than a week removed from Thanksgiving day Devendorf, through his ED23HOOPS organization, gave away over 200 turkey dinners to families in need in the City of Syracuse.
"There's a lot of people in need," Devendorf said. "I mean with prices rising everywhere people need a little extra help."
This year's turkey driver was scheduled to run or three hours, but within an hour all the dinners had been given away. No matter how long it takes to perform this good turn though, the mission and the message of those involved remains the same.
"Thanksgiving, it's in the name right, is a time to be thankful and grateful," said Paola Benevento, founder of Empire Orange Publishing, who co-sponsored the event. "[Eric and I] have a lot of appreciation for Syracuse and this event is a way for us to give back and show that appreciation."
For Devendorf, it's an appreciation that's lasted nearly two decades, and was born when he arrived on the campus of Syracuse University.
"The community has supported me through my ups and downs," Devendorf said. "It's the least I could do to be able to come back here and lend a helping hand."
And he, along with his organization have their sights set on continuing to do so, whether it's handing out Thanksgiving dinners, athletic gear, or books for children to read.
"We're going to keep doing it," Devendorf said. "We're going to continue keep getting like-minded people together that want to help out, make things like this happen and make this community a better place to be.