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Posts published in “A Durham Moment”

A Durham Moment: “We just roll on. That’s how it works.”

Story by Nicole Kagan, photos by Kulsoom Rizavi 

Major the Bull, a 10-foot, 2,500-pound, bronze statue who watches over downtown Durham from his brick pedestal, is a symbol of strength, power and pride. And, on Fat Tuesday, he dons a bright pink tulle tutu around his waist. 

Hanging around Major’s neck is a yellow, green and purple sign made out of duct tape. “Happy Mardi Gras,” it reads. He stands frozen, waiting for the celebration to begin. 

The sound is faint at first, but when the parade of krewes rounds the corner onto the plaza at 6 p.m., a symphony of trumpets, drums, tubas and trombones bursts through the air.

People flood into the square, turning it into a dancing sea of colors and sparkles.

An older gentleman frolics around in a pink leotard, tutu, tights and bright red lipstick, his shoulder-length gray hair gelled back behind his ears. Little kids run past him weighed down by dozens of beaded necklaces, sequined headbands and feather boas. At sudden intervals, the kids break out in cartwheels. 

Some people have made their own outfits for the celebration. One woman is completely hidden under a crow costume on which she glued hundreds of black feathers. Another is barely visible behind a multicolored, papier-mache dragon head. 

Others join the festivities in street clothes, beaming when fellow decked-out participants offer up handfuls of beaded necklaces. 

At the center of the crowd are the Bulltown Strutters, who have run the event for over a decade. They lead the now-packed plaza in glorious renditions of “When the Saints Go Marching In” and “Second Line.” 

Kelley Grogan, a member of the krewe, marches around in a green wig carrying a sign that says “strut with us.” Her husband bangs on the drums a few feet away. Grogan’s never been to New Orleans, and this is her first Durham Mardi Gras, but she’s quite sure it won’t be her last.

“The camaraderie is amazing,” she shouts over the trumpets. “Everyone is just letting loose.”

In front of her, adults and children alike skip and hop around in circles, stomping on the bricks while they pump signs in the air. 

One little boy with reflective sunglasses climbs up onto a stool and, gripping his silver harmonica with both hands, plays a unique version of what might be “Piano Man” before star-jumping back to the ground. 

Other krewes include the Tic Tac Teauxs, the Krewe of Mischief and the Society of the Sacred Bull. 

The last, a krewe of neighborhood kids from Trinity Park, shows up with a float made of painted wood and cardboard. It’s dripping in beaded necklaces, stocked with half a dozen King Cakes and has been signed by all of the krewe’s members for the last seven years. Its wear is starting to show.

“We’re probably gonna lose a wheel tonight,” says Walt Barron, one of the krewe’s adult leaders. “But we just roll on. That’s how it works.”

After a half hour of dancing, singing and twirling about in the plaza, the Bulltown Strutters decide it’s time to begin the procession down to the Blue Note Grill, where the celebration will continue into the night.

The music stops momentarily while the musicians gather their instruments and props and prepare to leave. Then after just a few seconds, a man in a chicken suit, carrying a massive tuba, shouts “NEXT SONG!” and the Strutters oblige, starting up again with “When the Saints” as they make their way down Foster Street. 

Above: Scenes from Mardi Gras, Bull City-style. Photos by Kulsoom Rizavi – 9th Street Journal 

A Durham Moment: “We are standing here today to say, ‘never again’”

January means many things – the start of a new year, the sight of discarded Christmas trees and lists of resolutions about what’s ahead. But as the lights came down from the 45-ft Christmas tree at the CCB Plaza in downtown Durham on Thursday, a nearby vigil signified a different meaning for this month: the anniversary of the insurrection at the Capitol one year ago on January 6, 2021. 

Over 200 miles away from the Capitol, Durham’s legislative delegation gathered at noon in the shadow of the Major the Bull statue to pay tribute to the lives lost on that day in Washington, D.C.

“We are standing here today to say, ‘never again’,” said state Rep. Marcia Morey. 

Morey, who helped organize the event, stressed the importance of upholding the principles of democracy one year later. 

As passersby joined the modest crowd gathered on their lunch break, Ben Haas from the Religious Coalition for a Nonviolent Durham opened the vigil by leading the group in prayer. The crowd bowed their heads as Haas began, with Mayor Elaine O’Neil and Durham County Commissioner Wendy Jacobs, who were both in attendance, joining in.

Vigils are familiar spaces for Haas, who has helped to commemorate homicide victims across Durham. His prayer emphasized the loss of love and human life as a result of the Jan. 6 insurrection. 

“Peace, justice, love and hope bind us together,” he said. 

One by one, members of the Durham delegation stepped forward to speak. Some citizens stopped to listen while walking their dogs. Others rode bikes to the plaza for the event, with helmets decorated with Durham’s signature sticker, “No bull, I voted.”  

Beyond the theme of remembrance, one message in the speeches prevailed: the importance of voting rights. 

State Rep. Zack Hawkins called for increased access to the right to vote. Proposed state and federal measures include automatic voter registration and online registration bills. 

Eliminating barriers to the ballot box and registering people to vote are small things that can lead to a big win, he said. 

Rep. Natalie Murdock echoed Hawkins, noting that the right to vote is a basic tenet of democracy. She called for Congress to pass the Freedom to Vote Act, Protecting Our Democracy Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act. 

“We have the numbers in the Senate, it’s time for us to get this done,” she said. 

In a pandemic-era gathering, masks sported messages of support. One attendee wore a black mask with white lettering spelling out “Vote.” 

State Sen. Mike Woodward left the crowd with three suggestions of ways to move forward: call the events of January 6 an insurrection, remember what happened and help turn out the vote. 

Woodward recalled a quote from civil rights leader John Hervey Wheeler, for whom Durham’s federal courthouse is named. 

“The fight for freedom begins anew every morning,” he said.

As the event ended and the crowd began to disperse, Morey put on her own mask to greet attendees. It, too, bore a simple message: “Do good.” 

Above, Ben Haas of the Religious Coalition for a Nonviolent Durham opens the vigil with a prayer. Photo by Michaela Towfighi – The 9th Street Journal

Celebrating Tom Bonfield, from a safe distance

Wool E. Bull stood in the back of a truck, holding a drum of sorts and waving emphatically as his chariot rounded the corner of City Hall Plaza and Mangum Street.

It was Tuesday, the last day of Tom Bonfield’s 12-year run as Durham’s city manager.

In other years it would have been a more intimate celebration, but in the time of COVID-19 Durham continues to adapt. To say farewell, the city organized a Surprise Retirement Parade. 

Bonfield sent a retirement letter to Mayor Steve Schewel on Aug. 2, citing the pandemic and the heavy issues Durham must address. Teams addressing those issues should start and finish these upcoming projects together, the 65-year-old said.

Tom and Karen Bonfield outside City Hall. Photo from City of Durham

To salute a stampede of supporters, Bonfield and his wife, Karen, stood behind a table decorated with a Bonfield Ave street sign, a wooden mallard and a balloon-decorated tablecloth. Bonfield wore a Durham Bulls mask.

As soon as the celebration started, honks sounded from every direction on Mangum Street near City Hall. A map provided on the online event guided drivers to round a designated corner and pass the man of the hour who stood, after 42 years of public service, waving.

Cars in the left lane moved excitedly through the parade route, outlined by orange cones outside City Hall. Police cars passed with lights twinkling. Construction vehicles came by with passengers holding neon vests out the window in greeting.

A petite woman inside a small blue vehicle with  “Congrats Tom” signs hanging from the driver’s side stuck her hand out the window and bellowed salutations. 

For those caught by surprise, a large neon traffic sign informed them of the event: “Parade Traffic Left Lane,” it read. Vehicles shuffled right. Traffic stalled. There were more honks.

Above their masks, the Bonfields’ eyes looked delighted as they bid goodbye to drive-by Durhamites in the humid mid-day.

A man in a pink shirt and a black mask scurried around the corner, back and forth, directing the paraders along their route. Bonfield continued to wave.

Despite the distance, people celebrating Tom Bonfield connected with him from driver and passenger seats on Tuesday. Photo from City of Durham

9th Street Journal reporter Carmela Guaglianone can be reached at

At top: Durham Police Department members, including recent graduates from the city’s training academy, joined Tuesday’s parade honoring retiring City Manager Tom Bonfield. Photo from City of Durham

Catholic congregation stays connected in a campus parking garage

After worshippers climb stairs to the fourth floor of the Science Drive Garage, they arrange folding chairs six feet apart. Choir members sing “Create a Clean Heart” as people settle in. 

When the song ends, The Rev. Michael Martin approaches them from the far end of Level 4, passing five choir members standing by spaced-apart microphones. Ten musicians sit behind them. 

The priest continues to a table covered with a forest-green cloth, three candles, an open bible, an upright text with an angel on its cover, and three small bottles of hand sanitizer. Behind that, a smaller table holds a large golden cross. A Duke Catholic Center banner blocks the glare of sunlight outside. 

The Rev. Michael Martin of Duke Catholic Center speaks during Mass on Level 4 of Science Drive Garage. Photo by Henry Haggart

All over the country people of faith have altered their worship rituals to adapt to life in a pandemic. In Durham, Duke Catholic Center has gone almost open air, staging Mass every Sunday in a campus garage a short walk from Cameron Stadium. 

Father Mike pulls down his mask to welcome the people before him, a mix of ages and races. He invites all to greet each other, but not by shaking hands the way they used to.

“Why don’t we stand and wave to the people around us and begin our celebration,” he says.  

Mask back on, the priest signals the congregation to sit. A young woman approaches the altar to read a passage from Isaiah from a smartphone.

Live music is a hallmark of parking-deck Mass, where the sounds of instruments and singers reverberate through the concrete skeleton of the garage. Photo by Henry Haggart

As she moves to her seat, a baby begins to cry, a familiar sound in church that is amplified here by the acoustics of cement walls. A nun quickly wipes down the altar with disinfecting wipes.

As Father Mike began his sermon on humility and one’s role as “a rock,” helpers set up a portable screen on top of four plastic storage boxes. Short clips of students encouraging others to join small group discussions begins to play. 

Instead of lining up during the Holy Eucharist, worshippers stay put. After pouring sanitizer on their hands, altar servers carry bowls to them, offering communion with stretched arms. Once servers move past them, those participating pull down their masks to place consecrated hosts in their mouths. 

Altar servers bring Holy Eucharists to worshippers, a delivery executed with outstretched arms for safe distancing. Photo by Henry Haggart

As the service ends, congregants collect their chairs and blankets and proceed to take stairs to their cars, waving to friends as they leave. 

Not only those attending the Catholic Center service, which are recorded and posted online, are touched by what happens in the garage

“My wife and I were walking on the Duke Trail this morning.The music coming from your service was beautiful,” @CoachMinnick commented on one online video post. “The music and acoustics sounded as if we were in a cathedral.”

9th Street reporter Dryden Quigley can be reached at

At top: The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted so much, including the ability to host religious services in houses of worship. To adapt, Duke Catholic Center offers Mass in a campus parking garage on Sundays. Park on level 3, worshippers are told. And attend Mass on Level 4. Video by 9th Street Journal journalist Henry Haggart

Low-wage, essential workers strike for economic and racial justice

On Monday afternoon, in the sweltering heat, hundreds of people — many of them low-wage and frontline workers during the pandemic — gathered in front of the McDonald’s on West Morgan Street in Durham as part of the “Strike for Black Lives.” 

An organizer of the protest speaks to the crowd gathered in front of the McDonald’s. Photo by Henry Haggart

The event was organized by the group NC Raise Up, which is connected with the national organization Fight for $15 that advocates for living wages, workers’ unions and workers’ rights. It was one of a series of demonstrations in over two dozen cities across the nation on July 20.

Members of the drum line kneel during a moment of silence held in remembrance of George Floyd. Photo by Henry Haggart
Organizer Tonya Marsh leading chants among demonstrators in front of the Morgan St. McDonald’s. Photo by Henry Haggart

The workers demanded the minimum wage be raised to $15 an hour and asked for hazard pay and better protective equipment during COVID-19 pandemic. Speakers said they wanted employers of essential workers during the pandemic to commit to economic and racial justice.

Hasan Wilson Jr. hangs a sign from the bull statue in downtown Durham. Photo by Henry Haggart
Durham native Crispin Whittier prepares a hydration solution for a dehydrated attendee of the strike. Photo by Henry Haggart

A new street mural reading “STRIKE FOR BLACK LIVES” in large red letters was painted at the intersection of Morgan Street and Rigsbee Avenue before the strike. The  mural is not the first to show up on the roads of Durham or other cities. It’s part of a nationwide trend in support of the Black Lives Matter movement following weeks-long protests over the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, and the killing of Breonna Taylor by Louisville, Kentucky police. 

Protesters scattered across the new street mural, maintaining safe distance from one another.

9th Street Journal photographer Henry Haggart can be reached at

Durham activist group holds invitation-only meeting with officials about police violence

After a week of protests against police killings of black people, Durham activist Skip Gibbs and several other members of the grassroots organization Other America Movement (OAM) met with city officials including Durham Police Chief C. J. Davis, Sheriff Clarence Birkhead and Mayor Steve Schewel. 

Gibbs said the two-hour meeting was about getting city officials to offer concrete solutions to address systemic racism, police reform and poverty. 

“We’re saying: If you guys end systematic racism, if you guys give us resources in our community so we can have better schools, more grocery stores, better-resourced community centers, then we won’t need police in our neighborhoods because we have everything that we need to be functioning people,” he said.

The meeting, held at event space The Fruit (formerly called Durham Fruit and Produce Company), was closed to representatives from several other community groups who wanted to join the conversation, as well as most members of the press.

OAM organized a protest on Monday that blocked traffic briefly on the Durham Freeway at South Alston Avenue. The group demanded police leaders agree to a conversation to discuss solutions to police violence and poverty.

They succeeded in getting the meeting, but it was invitation-only — a restriction Gibbs said was necessary because of limited space. Tim Walter, owner of The Fruit, told 9th Street Journal only 15 people could attend with proper social distancing. About 15 people waited outside, including reporters and activists from other groups.

At first, OAM livestreamed the talk from its Facebook and Instagram pages. But the organization later shut the livestream down. 

Gibbs told reporters and activists he cut the feed because “people have a hard time being honest when there’s cameras around.” 

The decision to hold the meeting behind closed doors frustrated several community members who gathered outside on the sidewalk. 

Michael Taylor, who formed the community group Restoring The Foundation, said that when residents of public housing complex McDougald Terrace — the majority of whom are black — were displaced earlier this year because of natural gas leaks, they went to a city council meeting and were allowed inside to voice their complaints.

“So, when this happened, the same issues, why is it private now?” he asked.

Reporters and members of Standing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) waited outside The Fruit, attempting to listen to a livestream of the meeting. Photo by Charlie Zong

Andréa “Muffin” Hudson, who serves on the Durham Human Relations Commission and directs the North Carolina Community Bail Fund, arrived about an hour into the meeting. She said she came after receiving a call about community members not being allowed inside.

She expressed her concerns to Gibbs when he came outside to speak with activists.

“When you have community members asking can they come in, community members should never be turned away from anything,” she said. “Anytime you shut the community out and you say you’re speaking for the community, the community will turn on you really fast.”

Hudson said she wanted to tell Sheriff Birkhead that public resources should be given to “community-based organizations” such as community kitchens, rather than the police. 

“I want them to defund the police and decarcerate Durham county detention [facility],” she said. 

Gibbs said he wanted to take a different approach. “If we try to go in and say, oh we’re just going to defund all the police, it’s not going to work,” he said. 

After the meeting ended, Gibbs announced that officials agreed to form a committee so community organizers could have a direct channel to discuss problems they faced and work with officials toward solutions.

Gibbs called for unity among organizers and asked those present to appoint a liaison from their groups. 

“What’s going to work is us having a unified, solid voice,” he said. “What’s going to work is expressing peacefully to our government officials what we need.”

But some activists expressed skepticism about the process. Taylor, a longtime acquaintance of Gibbs, asked him about the livestream being shut down while city officials stood in silence. 

“You don’t think the dishonesty should have been seen?” Taylor said. “These are people who take our taxpayer dollars.”

After the meeting, Sheriff Birkhead released a statement vowing to listen. 

“We stand here, right now, to say we are here to help.” he said. “As Sheriff, I am committed to criminal justice reform. As a fellow Durham resident, I pledge to work together to change the status quo in order to level the playing field for everyone.”

Top photo: Andréa “Muffin” Hudson (right) talks with Skip Gibbs (left) and another OAM organizer during an invitation-only meeting with city officials. Photo by Charlie Zong

A Durham moment: ‘Ain’t nobody gonna save us but us!’

An American flag flails halfheartedly beside the demonstration in downtown Durham. A Pan-African flag — larger and catching more gusts of wind — is paraded through the crowd. 

In the heart of downtown, where Main Street meets Morris Street meets Chapel Hill Boulevard, Durhamites have gathered in solidarity with Black Lives Matter protests sweeping the nation. Under a gray sky, they wear masks and hold signs. The air is ripe with electricity and anticipation, like we are on the brink of a storm.

“End White Silence,” demands one sign, written in red, white and blue. 

Another sign simply says, “GEORGE FLOYD,” potent with a power that has mobilized millions. 

Beside the woman holding this sign, a fellow protestor holds a piece of cardboard. In Sharpie, it begs the question that has brought so many people from the virus-protected safety of their homes out to this demonstration and others like it. 

“Are me and my family next?” 

They’re here because they saw it on social media – first the horrific video of Floyd being pinned under a police officer’s knee while he gasped “I can’t breathe!”, and then the call to action for protesters, which spread quickly through Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

One participant mentions that she saw a post online about protests in Raleigh on Monday, which she also plans to attend. As she says this, someone sitting nearby asks for logistical details.

The protest has no agenda, so people in the crowd just speak up.

“Ain’t nobody gonna save us but us!” shouts one woman, standing in the center of the demonstration. Others circle around to listen as she calls for community action, for holding each other accountable, and for getting out the vote. 

“We didn’t fight each other, we fought for each other,” she says. The crowd echoes her passion, chanting “No justice, no peace.”

More protestors take their turns sharing stories and making short speeches. On the outskirts of the crowd, an older gentleman wearing a blue plaid sportcoat adorned with a “F— Trump ” button, is offering everyone squirts of hand sanitizer. 

Beyond frustration though, many in the crowd are angry. 

“F— the police,” rings out occasionally from the protestors as cops on motorcycles loudly circle on neighboring streets. 

Talking through his mask — blue, with the word “Democrat” patterned across it— Jan Cromartie, who mentions that he is a candidate for the Durham Soil and Water Conservation District, says he appreciates the way the community has organized to support the movement, but hopes to see grander, institutional changes as a result. 

“Rhetoric is good,” he says, “but I believe in action.”

Droplets of rain start to fall as the protest continues into the evening.

In photo at top, demonstrators held a peaceful rally in downtown Durham on Saturday. Photo by Henry Haggart | The 9th Street Journal

A Durham moment: Discussing ‘the lack of bike infrastructure‘

The white plastic tables in the basement of Refiner’s Fire Community Church remain mostly empty on this Wednesday night, giving the Durham Transportation Department open house the feel of a high school prom. Soft jazz from the congregation’s nearby choir practice wafts in and plays into the flirtatious energy. Durham is dancing with change: potentially re-striping lanes along East Main Street, from Elizabeth to Alston. 

Spectrum News shows up for the occasion, which gives the room a sense of importance. A videographer captures the action at the sign-in table as people start to trickle in. 

Across the room, to the subtle melody of a hidden chorus, people discuss where the painted lines should go on Main Street. The Transportation Department has set up two folding tables with mirroring displays of the proposed projects. They show a birds-eye view of the road with the potential changes. One option provides parking on the north side and a buffer to protect cyclists in the westbound bike lane. The other offers parking on the south side and protects eastbound bikers.   

Durhamites in business casual stand around them, looking puzzled and clicking their city-issued pens contemplatively. At one table, a few landlords and developers from the area chat up transportation representative Ellen Beckmann about unmarked loading zones. At the other, cycling safety carries the conversation. 

Bike Durham board member James Nishimuta is here to represent the cause. He decided to get involved after moving here from San Francisco and noticing the “lack of bike infrastructure.” 

Bike Durham is advocating protective measures, such as four-foot lanes with protective buffers on both sides. But Nishimuta, helmet in hand, says the group is often frustrated with the city’s tired response, “That’s not what we do.” 

The distant vocals start to fade as the meeting comes to a close. The project blueprints, pristine and promising at the start of the evening, have been marked up. Red pens lay strewn across the table, exhausted from the night and all the mansplaining. Beckmann says that the evening was a success, but the department has plans for further outreach. This is only the beginning. 

In photo above, open house attendees appear engaged as Transportation Department representatives explain where paint will dry. | Photo by Carmela Gualiano, The 9th Street Journal

A Durham Moment: Lighting up the night

It’s dinner time in downtown Durham when Michael Youakim drives slowly past the glass facade of Pizzeria Toro, instantly grabbing the attention of everyone inside the restaurant. His silver Lexus is covered with Christmas-themed lights, stickers, and wrapping paper, as well as a miniature plastic pine tree strapped to the roof with more lights. Customers and waitresses pull out their phones to take pictures.

Enjoying the crowd’s reaction, Youakim stops the car. This quickly results in angry honking from the drivers behind him, but he doesn’t care. The 31-year-old Uber driver lowers the windows, blasts the music, and pops his door open so he can dance for his audience.

Though it’s only the first week of December, buildings and plazas all around Main Street are covered in twinkling lights. So far it’s been a slow month for his business; partygoers and young socialites are Youakim’s primary demographic, and he suspects they prefer to stay home in the cold.

He gets a rider request from the Durham hotel, only a few blocks ahead. On the drive over, pedestrians point, laugh and take pictures, which is exactly what he wants. “It’s about making people laugh, giving them something to look at and just smile about.”

Kim and Dave Bingel, 30 and 35, emerge from the lobby and hesitate for a moment before climbing into the Uber. In the backseat, they find wigs, glasses, a Minion stuffed animal, and two tablets installed with a classic Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Kim instantly puts on a blue curly wig and picks up one of the remotes. “I haven’t played this since I was twelve,” she says.

Youakim asks them for song requests, points out where the water bottles are, and plays around with the level of the bass. “Best Uber ever?” he asks.

Dave, Kim’s husband, who is also playing Nintendo, agrees. “Best Uber ever,” he says.

After leaving Kim and Dave at their home in Colonial Village, Youakim drives around the dimly-lit neighborhood waiting for another request, the lights from his car illuminating the street. It’s only 8 p.m., and the Uber app predicts there won’t be much business until 10. He slows to study some red Christmas lights on the sides of somebody’s driveway.

He has always loved lights and their ability to make things brighter, happier. His sneakers have light-up soles. His car is filled with an array of illuminated items, including a neon sign in the back that says “Lit.” “I’m catering to the people who are going out and trying to have a good time,” he says. “The ones who see me and think, I need to be in that Uber. It may look cheesy, but I just want to make people’s day, get them hype, prepare them to go have fun in my own city.”

A Durham moment: ‘Let’s get the birds’ (They’re from Butterball.)

Standing in front of a bright blue Butterball truck, Mark-Anthony Middleton declares that Durham doesn’t measure its greatness by the size of its buildings, the cuisine of its restaurants, or who’s playing at DPAC.  

What matters, the City Council member says, is how it treats the most vulnerable residents.

Outside Urban Ministries, near some of the city’s public housing, Middleton is presenting 200 turkeys to organizations that feed the hungry. Seventy-five of them and 345 pounds of sandwich meat will go to Urban Ministries.

“Let’s get the birds,” says Middleton, vapor coming out of his mouth.

Less than a week before Thanksgiving, Middleton tells the small gaggle of reporters and onlookers that nearly 17 percent of Durham residents live in “food insecurity.” More than a dozen onlookers dressed in ragged clothing across the street listen intently.

Middleton then reads a proclamation from Mayor Steve Schewel, declaring Nov. 16 to be “Butterball LLC Triangle Donations Day” in Durham. He warns that if he slurs a little, it’s because of the cold.

Without slurring, he proclaims that Butterball, the nation’s largest turkey producer, makes more than one billion pounds of “healthy, wholesome” turkey per year.

“We own this holiday,” says Butterball representative Ron Tomaszewski, vice president of human resources. “To be recognized specifically for it is outstanding.”

Formalities over, it’s turkey time.

There are three pallets of boxed turkeys in the back of the refrigerated truck. (Did we mention the turkeys are Butterballs?) Volunteers heave and push the cardboard boxes to the edge and load them in carts.

Betty Finoh, a social worker, loads one of the carts with frosty turkeys.

With the help of two other people, she pushes the cart up the curb, but it gets caught in a rut and nearly tips over. They rescue it and push it a few feet further to their car.

Donning a bright blue Carolina Panthers hat and sparkling earrings, Finoh loads the back seat of a sedan with 30 turkeys. There are so many she’ll have trouble looking back through the rear view mirror.

“This is great,” Finoh says. “We can put food on the table for people who can’t afford it.”

(Photo by Ben Leonard)