Third and Long Foundation prepares Thanksgiving baskets For 1,500 needy families

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Food for more than 1,500 families is being given to 33 churches and nonprofit organizations for Thanksgiving meals.

Derrick Thomas and Neil Smith’s Third and Long Foundation is continuing to help Kansas Citians in need. NFL Hall of Famer Derrick Thomas started this tradition of giving away Thanksgiving food baskets about 25 years ago.

Even after his death, Thomas’ foundation continues to support fans, families and 58 students a year in a separate reading program for elementary children.

“It’s what we stood for, both on the field and off the field,” said Neil Smith, chairman of the foundation. “Derrick was community, he was a community guy. He wanted to give back to all the people that were in need. This is what we strived on, both on the field and off the field. This is one of the legacies we started together and we are still here.”

Smith, Thomas’ longtime teammate and Super Bowl champion, continues to work as chairman of the foundation and says being able to help others is just as rewarding as achieving your own success.

Once churches and charitable groups receive these holiday baskets, they then will give them away to needy families and households the next day.

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