On Tuesday, Nov. 20, Vy Higginsen hosted the 2012 James Brown Family Children Foundation’s (JBFCF) annual turkey giveaway at the Mama Foundation for the Arts in Harlem. Deanna Brown-Thomas, daughter of the late James Brown and president of JBFCF, continued the legacy of the Godfather of Soul by giving out Thanksgiving turkeys to those in need.

Brown-Thomas and Higginsen were joined by the Rev. Al Sharpton; Tony Award-winning actress and singer Melba Moore; performers Issa Pointer (daughter of Ruth Pointer of the Pointer Sisters and Dennis Edwards of the Temptations), Jcisco and Jason Ray; and Higginsen’s Gospel for Teens Choir for a rousing celebration that was as entertaining as it was inspirational. Higginsen’s teen choir sang their original song, “Yes, We Can,” their debut single released through Harlem Records that is currently receiving air play on WBLS and WLIB and climbing the charts on iTunes.

During this holiday season, so many will go wanting, as families struggle to make ends meet in our tough economic times. A trip to the store this season can be a daunting task for those facing the pressures of being unable to provide for their families. The legendary Godfather of Soul not only had an amazing career in the entertainment industry, but he was also known for helping those who were less fortunate. Brown was a visionary. He established an annual turkey and toy giveaway to give back to his community, an event he continued for over 20 years.

Today, his legacy is celebrated in so many ways–in monument, music and performance. JBFCF, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, was created to celebrate Brown and carry out his wishes. Brown-Thomas continues to bring joy to families in need of assistance. In 2009, JBFCF expanded its holiday gifting to Connecticut and New York, in addition to the foundation’s base in Augusta, Ga.

Visit www.jamesfrownfamilyfdn.org or www.mamafoundation.org for more information.