"No Books No Ball" successfully organizes turkey drive in Roxbury

ROXBURY, Mass. — In an effort to brighten up the Thanksgiving for many families, several local organizations are teaming up to make sure needy families don't go without a turkey this year.

The "No Books No Ball" organization put together their annual turkey drive in Roxbury on Saturday afternoon.

"It's a program like where kids get into shape with basketball and play ball, it's pretty cool," said 7-year-old Lincoln Ned.

Tony Richards founded the non-profit 26 years ago, and it uses academics, basketball and community engagement to motivate and empower urban youth.

"It makes the kids identify without athletics, without the academic part, the athletic dream is kinda just a desire," said Richards.

No Books, No Ball welcomed today Governor Charlie Baker, who helped pass out turkeys and says he's been attending this event for years, even before running for public office.

"While there's a number of superstars who've come out of the program, the other thing people should realize is there are a lot of kids who use this program to get into prep school, use it to get into college and it's a tremendous asset to this community and for kids and families to have a chance to participate," Governor Baker said.

No Books, No Ball partnered up with several local organizations to donate nearly 1,000 turkeys to families who may otherwise go without one on Thanksgiving.

"I don't like to eat the stuffing, I just like to eat turkey," said Lincoln Ned.

Next year, No Books, No Balls is hoping to give away 1,200 turkeys.