Photo gallery: Over 300 needy people receive Thanksgiving vouchers


SAN BERNARDINO - San Bernardino native Arthur Davis has come full circle.

Raised in a low-income neighborhood southeast of downtown and educated at San Bernardino Valley College and New Mexico University, he retired after a successful career at General Motors.

On Monday, Davis was back in the community - on the city's westside - giving out $15 vouchers to make Thanksgiving a little better for those in need.

In all, he gave out more than 300 vouchers totalling nearly $5,000.

The money - a gift from the heart of Davis, his friends and family.

"I've always done this. I give in memory of my parents - Arthur and Queen Ester Davis, also Raymond and Phyllis Harper," said Davis, 71.

Davis, his wife Freeda, son Troy Davis, and sister-in-law Clarisa Howard were on hand helping more than 130 pre-registered people who had lined up around the block for their vouchers.

The Art Davis Family Foundation, which has been helping people in areas where Art Davis grew up, has been doing charity work for 15 years.

Esther Valdez, who waited in line, said her family wouldn't have a turkey but for the cash voucher.

"We thought we would have chicken legs," she said.

"My energy comes from seeing the smiles on the faces of people - I enjoy doing it," said Davis, who now lives in Walnut.

As she entered the Johnson Hall Community Center in the Maplewood Homes housing project, Erma Moon said the gift was a blessing.

"It's a wonderful thing," Moon said.

"I don't know who Mr. Davis is, but God bless him and his family."

In addition to Davis' gift, Fresh & Easy has joined the effort. People who redeem their vouchers at their store, and spend an additional $15 for a total of $30, will receive a free turkey.

Davis feels the black community in San Bernardino has been most harmed by the bad economy.

He believes the adage, "Give a man a fish and he eats for a day; teach him how to fish and he eats for a lifetime."


Contact Michel via email, by phone at 909-386-3859, or follow her on Twitter @MichelNolan.