By Mason W. Canales

Killeen Daily Herald

The NAACP Youth Council celebrated Thanksgiving Sunday by cooking a meal for the families who live in Killeen Housing Authority projects.

"It feels good to help," said Courtney Maldonado, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Youth Council president. "If you don't have a family, it feels good to know people are helping you."

About 12 of its 30-plus members helped to cook and organize the dinner for the families living in the Killeen Housing Authority, Maldonado, 18, said.

From 1 p.m. to about 3 p.m., the youth members, with the help of their co-adviser Angenet Wilkerson, served the residents who lived in the housing authority.

"It is important for the youth to understand the meaning of service, and giving back to the community," Wilkerson said. "This is an opportunity for them to feel the effect of giving back to the community."

The dinner consisted of various dishes, such as mashed potatoes, turkey, ham, green beans, macaroons, cheese, cake and pies, Maldonado said.

Residents of the housing authority could either come and sit down at the Moss Rose Housing Complex Center or they could pick up their meal to go, Wilkerson said.

"It is beautiful," said Johnie Morrison, a resident of the Killeen Housing Authority. "I praise these children every year. The residents, they look forward to it."

Morrison has attended the NAACP youth council's Thanksgiving dinner for the last couple of years. She said it gives her a chance to meet her neighbors.

"For those who don't have family in the area, it gives them a chance to come together and have fellowship," said Janice Taylor, Killeen Housing Authority resident services coordinator.

For the last 10 years, the NAACP Youth Council has been feeding the housing authority residents on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, Maldonado said. It is a tradition that she hopes the next president of continues.

"This is a fulfilling journey and it makes you look forward to next year," Wilkerson said.

In the past, the NAACP has prepared meals for more than 250 people and its center has been crowded with people, but this year by about 2 p.m. the NAACP fed only about 60 people, Wilkerson said.

"It just feels good that we can come in here and help out," Maldonado said.

Contact Mason W. Canales at or call (254) 501-7554

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