Hundreds line up in Orlando amid coronavirus pandemic for free frozen turkeys

Pendas Law Firm holds annual Thanksgiving giveaway

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Pendas Law Firm kicked off its annual Thanksgiving tradition on Tuesday by giving away hundreds of frozen turkeys to families in need.

For the 12th straight year, the firm’s staff was on hand to personally distribute a truckload of turkeys at 625 E. Colonial Drive in Orlando.

The firm also held distribution events at its offices in Miami, Fort Myers, Jacksonville and Tampa.

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The owner of the firm, Lou Pendas, said he expects the need to be greater this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’ve decided to continue our annual turkey giveaway, with a feeling that the need is now greater than ever. It makes a really big impact for people, and it gives us great joy to give,” Pendas said.

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Since first launching in 2009, families in need have been welcomed to receive a free turkey, however, the distribution is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Kevin Blair was one of the first to arrive for the 2020 giveaway.

“It’s hard for me because of my income, and it’s a blessing that I can get in line this year and Pendas can give us a turkey we can cook for Thanksgiving,” Blair said.

Claire Hendricks also received a turkey on Tuesday and said it reminded her of what’s important.

“It means that other people care about other people and that’s what it’s supposed to be, love around the world,” Hendricks said.

Hendricks encouraged others to continue showing the same kindness to one another, especially during the current challenging times.

“If you have love and kindness in your heart, give it and show it to other people, because we’re all family,” Hendricks said. “We’re all one.”

Due to the pandemic, the firm said social distancing measures were required. Hand sanitizer and masks were also offered to those who lined up.

The giveaway was scheduled to run until 10:30 a.m. or until supplies ran out.

In total, Pendas said they gave away between 800 and 1,000 turkeys at Tuesday’s event and 3,000 statewide between his other five office locations. He estimates his giveaways have fed more than 500,000 people over the last 12 years.

About the Author:

Mark Lehman became a News 6 reporter in July 2014, but he's been a Central Florida journalist and part of the News 6 team for much longer. While most people are fast asleep in their bed, Mark starts his day overnight by searching for news on the streets of Central Florida.