Turkey Day with the Ravens

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Reed Leads the Pack

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Ravens safety Ed Reed

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got a head start on the Thanksgiving festivities last Tuesday, Nov. 18. Reed distributed turkeys and non-perishable items to families of students at Booker T. Washington Middle School.

Reed's event was truly indicative of a team leader, as his teammates joined in on the action the following week.

Aunt Hattie's Place Invites Ravens for Dinner

On Monday evening (Nov. 24), tackle David Hale and wideouts Marcus Maxwell and ErnieWheelwrightWheelwrightWheelwrightWheelwright visited the young men at Aunt Hattie's place for an extensive Thanksgiving dinner. Hale and Maxwell were joined by their wives Shelby and Jennifer. David and Shelby were last spotted at the Goodwill Gridiron Halloween party dressed as Dog the Bounty Hunter and Dog's wife Beth. The couple looked a bit different in their aprons, but were certainly happy to help.

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Before the meal, the trio said words of thanks and they each mentioned how grateful they were to take part in an Aunt Hattie's Place Thanksgiving dinner. As soon as grace was said and introductions were made, the group got to work serving the young men of the home. When the work was done they enjoyed their own hefty portions.

Aunt Hattie's Place is a charitable partner to the Ravens All Community Team Foundation, and the team as pledged consistent volunteer and financial support.

Greisen and His Ladies Lend a Helping Hand at Paul's Place Outreach Center

Tuesday, Nov. 25, began with the women of the Lady Ravens Association at Paul's Place Outreach Center. The group of 10 was joined by linebacker Nick Greisen and wife Caroline, who are expecting their first child in the beginning of January (a girl that Nick mentioned will not be dating until she is 30).

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As the Lady Ravens distributed Thanksgiving packages to over 130 families, the Greisens assumed the role of Turkey/Chicken distributors. The turkey vs. chicken battle quickly became a competition for the couple. Caroline was on chicken duty and felt a sense of pride when someone would choose chicken over the ever-popular traditional Thanksgiving turkey.

Running Backs Hand Off Turkeys

While Greisen and the Lady Ravens were at Paul's Place, running backs Le'Ron McClain

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, Willis McGahee, and Ray Rice were just a few miles down the road in Columbia at the Owen Brown Inter-Faith Center. The group commonly referred to as the "three-headed monster" was slightly less intimidating distributing turkeys to families than they would be on Sundays.

The running backs made this Thanksgiving a special one for many deserving families.

Lewis and Martin Host Thanksgiving Events

A few hours after Paul's Place and the Owen Brown Inter-Faith Center were cleared of their Thanksgiving packages, linebacker Ray Lewis

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and cornerback Derrick Martin hosted their own Thanksgiving distributions.

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The line was wrapped twice around the Diakon Center in Baltimore at 3:00 p.m. Families eagerly awaited to be let through the doors to not only receive their holiday packages, but to meet, shake hands with and hug their hometown hero, Ray Lewis. In the beginning of the line individuals were given large boxes that were eventually filled with books, toiletries and food items. The turkey, given by Lewis and receiver Mark Clayton, was the last item in the line of tools that will be used to assemble a complete Thanksgiving.

Across the street, Derrick Martin was distributing turkeys, assorted side dishes and pumpkin pies to 50 families at William C. March School. Martin wasn't quite finished giving after his turkeys were gone, so he headed to help teammate Bart Scott

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Bart Scott Scoops and Serves at the Helping Up Mission

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In his third year with the program, Scott served Thanksgiving dinner to the men of the Helping Up Mission homeless shelter. The mission provides a spiritual recovery program and serves over 400 men every day. Scott has seen the program itself expand as well as the growth of individuals through the program and made it very clear how proud he was of each man willing to face their addictions and start a new life.

Scott was joined by linebacker Antwan Barnes, tight end Edgar Jones, Martin, running back Ray Rice and tight end Daniel Wilcox. The group tied on their aprons and got busy serving the men. Rice, a rookie, had to get a few tips from the veteran Scott to learn how to make the perfect scoop of mashed potatoes. Overall, the team worked well together and their output was delicious.

All in all, it was a busy week leading up to this day, but one thing is for sure – it is much better to be a Raven than a Turkey on Thanksgiving.

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