Hard Bargain Association partnered with the Live Like Ju Foundation to prepare Thanksgiving meals for 330 family members during a gathering Nov. 22 at Ty’s House in the Hard Bargain neighborhood in Franklin.

The Live Like Ju Foundation is a nonprofit committed to giving back to the community and bringing awareness to gun violence. It was founded by Denise Floyd, mother of Jamarcus Cortez “JuJu” Esmon, who was murdered last June. Esmon was a friend, mentor and coach to some of the children from Hard Bargain, and Floyd said last Saturday’s gathering was a fitting tribute to her son.

“The Live Like Ju Foundation’s first annual Thanksgiving celebration is in remembrance of Jamarcus, who was always willing to help and give back to his community,” she said.

The celebration was especially significant in light of the food insecurities and loss of wages that have developed from the coronavirus pandemic. The Live Like Ju Foundation cooked 130 hot meals, while HBA served the community with 200 turkeys along with complete Thanksgiving baskets for an entire holiday meal. 

“We wanted to bring all the community together for a common message to stop gun violence,” HBA Executive Director Derrick L. Solomon said. “Let’s come together as a people in peace, love and unity. Let’s show the entire world that although all our views may be different, we still can live amongst our neighbors peacefully.

“We are grateful for all our partners and volunteers, especially Historic Franklin Presbyterian Churchand Susan Henry, who help us make this event very successful.”  

The mission of Hard Bargain Association is to preserve the historic Hard Bargain neighborhood by renovating existing homes, building high quality affordable housing, and enriching the lives of its neighbors.