It’s a Wrap! The 2014 Charleston Basket Brigade Meets and Exceeds Their Goal

CBB016The Charleston Basket Brigade is honored to have provided 3,323 Lowcountry families in need with Thanksgiving meals. For the last several months, we have been receiving donations from local businesses, community sports teams, and even children going door to door raising money. Hundreds of volunteers came out to the Charleston Area Convention Center Exhibit Hall C on Monday, November 24 from noon to 6 pm to help unload food off of the trucks and assemble the 3,330 boxes which hold the meals. Then on Tuesday, November 25 hundreds of volunteers arrived at the Convention Center before 7 am to continue to unload food, assemble meals, and deliver the meals to the families in need.

It’s crazy to look at how much we’ve grown.  Our first year, we fed 75 families, and with community support the effort has grown to serve thousands each year. Over the past seven years, the brigade has served 4,339 families in need (approximately 86,034 people).

Our mission is to bring the community together to serve our neighbors in need. It was incredible and brought tears to our eyes to see so many new faces come out for our volunteer effort this year. To those who donated and volunteered, we hope that when you sit around your Thanksgiving table this Thursday that there are families that are able to have the same experience because of your help.

Countless local businesses and groups came out to help move food off trucks, assemble meals, and deliver meals including Boeing, Gwynn’s of Mount Pleasant, Trident United Way Women’s Leadership Council, West Ashley High School Wrestling Team, Michael Kors, Girl Scouts, and Teaching Others to Reach Others (TORO) to name a few. Children as young as four were moving empty boxes into the assembly lines. Numerous families, individuals and concerned citizens all came out to help their neighbors in need. One special volunteer and US Navy member, Joe Fiori, drove the forklift and unloaded every single palate of food off of the semi-trucks from noon to 6 on Monday November 24th and started again bright and early at 5 am on Tuesday November 25th.

Not only were businesses volunteering, but also raising money to feed these families as well. Local cooking store, The Coastal Cupboard, raised over $4,200 during their Charity Knife Sharpening Event from October 31 –November 2, 2014. Daniel Island Real Estate raised $4,800 among their real estate agents. Mt. Pleasant Pitt Street businesses raised over $4,200 during the Share the Harvest event on November 20th. Young sisters Elyse and Kayla Pardus went door to door in their neighborhood over the past few months and raised $5,500. The Charleston Sports and Social Club raised $1,700 at one of their kickball matches. Gwynn’s of Mount Pleasant donated $10,000. Crews Chevrolet donated industrial recycling bins for all of the cardboard food boxes. People donated checks, change, and any dollar amount they could in the spirit of giving those in need a Thanksgiving meal.

Our motto is, “When a community comes together to make a difference, magic happens…” and that is exactly what happened.

We’re not just on a mission to provide people with food; but to give them the experience of the Thanksgiving holiday. The holidays are about cooking the meal together and sitting down together to enjoy it and be thankful for all of the world’s blessings.

In addition to all of the incredible community support, we would not have successfully executed the effort without our partners – Carolina One Real Estate, Communities In Schools, Momentum Marketing and BI-LO. To each and every one of you, we extend a heartfelt thank you.

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