Bronx, Harlem shelters celebrate Thanksgiving with DJ OMINAYA

Orlando Minaya, otherwise known as DJ OMINAYA, grew up in the Bronx and is giving back to his community this holiday season.
Orlando Minaya, otherwise known as DJ OMINAYA, grew up in the Bronx and is giving back to his community this holiday season.
Photo courtesy DJ OMINAYA Press

A Bronx-based DJ is doing his part to provide for the borough this holiday season. 

Orland Minaya, otherwise known as DJ OMINAYA, is pledging to host different giveaway events through the end of the year — his most recent was this week, where he gave turkeys and other Thanksgiving food to different Bronx and Harlem shelters. 

Minaya was raised by his mother in the Bronx, and he said growing up in a single-parent household came with its share of difficult times. 

“I was in the position that some of these people that need help are in,” Minaya told the Bronx Times on Wednesday. “For years I’ve seen her struggle and just work and try to put food on the table, and it just made me want to do something when I get in a position to help people.”

Music was one of his outlets, and after he started to DJ he knew he wanted to make a career out of it. Having worked for prominent outlets, including SiriuxXM and the “Wendy Williams Show,” Minaya also DJs parties, weddings, virtual events and has toured with rapper A Boogie wit da Hoodie, and by himself. 

This year was the artist’s sixth annual turkey drive, he said. Donations came from individuals, but Minaya raised more than $3,000 himself this year during his annual “Turkey Drive Live” DJ set on Twitch, where he played music for 15 hours straight. 

“(It) was amazing because last year we only collected about $1,500, so it doubled this year,” Minaya said. “So it was incredible.”

In all, Minaya and his team gave away 200 turkeys, 300 canned goods, 150 bags of rice and 100 boxes of pasta as part of the event — and fed more than 500 people in 10 shelters across the Bronx and Harlem.

“That’s with no backing, that’s just us doing it on our own,” Minaya said. 

The turkey giveaway is just one of several drives the artist sponsors this time of year. He and his team also run a designer clothing drive every year, and their next will be a toy drive ahead of the December holidays.

He said especially this time of year, it feels good to give back.

“It feels amazing,” Minaya said. “I was in that position and I didn’t have anybody to do that for me back when I was young.”

Reach Camille Botello at [email protected]. For more coverage, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @bronxtimes

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