The holiday season is a wonderful time to spend together with family, and with Thanksgiving right around the corner, families all across North Texas will sit down together to enjoy each other’s company and a meal with all the classic dishes that make the holiday what it is.

This Thanksgiving, as has been the case for six years now, hundreds local families will have a holiday feast courtesy of the Mavericks.

Deron Williams and Devin Harris purchased 250 turkeys for families in need at Buckner International in Mesquite. In addition, the players were there on Nov. 19 to hand out the meals as families drove up to the facility. The result: grateful mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, and some genuinely thrilled children.

Albertsons partnered with the players, donating sides like green beans, corn, potatoes, stuffing, and more. Representatives of the grocery chain also joined in with the players, Mavs ManiAACs, dancers, and staff, and Buckner staff as well to stock the families’ cars and trunks full of food to be enjoyed on the best holiday of the year.

“It’s a great feeling, being able to come out and work with Albertsons and provide these families with what will hopefully be a great Thanksgiving dinner for them and their kids,” Williams said.

The point guard, who originally hails from The Colony, said returning to his hometown and becoming active in the community made the event mean a little more.

“It means a lot. It’s just like an added bonus, coming back home and playing for the Mavericks,” he said. “But being able to do this stuff off the court, it makes it that much more special. The community I grew up in and supported me in high school and now with the Mavs, it’s a great feeling to be able to give back.”

The turkey drive was part of the NBA Cares Season of Giving, a program that connects teams and players to their communities in an effort to brighten the holidays for thousands of children and families. This is the sixth year the Mavericks have partnered with Buckner International and the fourth year it’s teamed up with Albertsons.

Devin Harris said the families were very appreciative for the donations, and it was easy to tell just from the smiles on their faces that they truly were grateful. Many took pictures with the players, and some kids even got autographs.

Harris isn’t new to giving back during the holiday season. He took part in this same event last season, joining up with Chandler Parsons. In addition, he’s spent the last several Thanksgiving mornings at local shelters and food banks feeding the homeless and those in need. This year, he said he’s taking his kids with him for the first time.

“Hopefully they’ll enjoy it as much as I do,” he said. “It’s about establishing a foundation and understanding that you have the right and the need to help people, and if you can do so, you should do it.”

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