Center serves up Thanksgiving, life lessons

9NEWS @ 5. 11/24/2016

AURORA - It's a Thanksgiving on the go.

At the Heavy Hands, Heavy Hearts Community Center in Aurora, they're packing up Thanksgiving dinners to hand out to the homeless and others who are less fortunate.

The center was started by former professional MMA fighter Lumumba “Heavy Hands” Sayers.

"There's a lot of poverty over here," he said.

It also has its share of violence, which is something Sayers understands, firsthand.

"For me to have cousins killed and stuff – that hurt," he said.

That why Sayers opened up this place. It’s part community center, part gym -- and all for kids.

"We decided to put a gym here because we have a lot of gang violence and a lot of kids who are disobedient and don't know how to follow basic instructions out here,” Sayers said. "What I decided to do was get a place for them to be able to go to."

He teamed up with former gang member Gerald Wright, Senior.

"Twenty-six years later, I still don't have an answer as to why I joined," Wright said.

He now works for a nonprofit that helps keep kids away from a life he experienced - and got out of.

"This is why I do all this stuff I do. All these obituaries – family and friends, people I've lost since 1989, running in the gangs," Wright said. "Most of these cats got kids. I said I love them, so I don't want their babies to follow the same things we did, you know what I'm saying?"

They are lessons they hope others won't have to learn the hard way.

The community center is located in the 2300 block of Dayton Street in Aurora. It only opened within the last month.  This is the first Thanksgiving meal they've offered and they say they plan for it to become an annual tradition.

Copyright 2016 KUSA


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