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Daddy Bruce Thanksgiving giveaway needs donations, volunteers

DENVER -- Restaurant owner and charity legend Daddy Bruce Randolph started feeding the hungry on Thanksgiving in 1963. He’s known for saying “nothing beats love.”

This year, organizers carrying on his legacy say they refuse to be beat by the shortage of donations and volunteers and are praying the public will come through for those in need.

Rev. Ronald Wooding and Elder King H. Harris of the Epworth Foundation say they have received 5,000 requests for food baskets.

The baskets help the elderly, children and the disabled who can’t afford a Thanksgiving meal. Organizers need $150,000 and 1,000 volunteers.

“If we don't get the rest of the money, we won't be able to buy the baskets simply because we won't be able to buy the food,” Harris said.

Before his death in 1994,  Daddy Bruce Randolph said when he was growing up he didn't even know when Thanksgiving was because his family was so poor.

His devotion to helping the poor was a lifetime effort.

"He gave out 200 meals the first year and he wanted to be like Jesus and feed 5,000,” Wooding said.

Even though the first baskets will be handed out this weekend, there is still time for the community to make a difference.

“I have never known where the money is going to come from. ... I have faith in God that he will touch the minds and the hearts of the people,” Harris said.

This year’s event will honor the late Denver Post reporter Colleen O’Connor, who gave great support to the cause.

To donate or volunteer visit the Epworth Foundaition's website.

A documentary about Daddy Bruce Randolph’s life premieres Tuesday at 6:15 p.m. at the Exdo Events Center (1399 35th St.). Tickets are $12 and  support the Thanksgiving meal distribution.