Our Thanksgiving project was a huge success. I was truly overwhelmed by the number of responses I received from people that wanted to participate by sponsoring a family, donating funds, shopping for me, helping with preparations, doing deliveries and handing out the baskets on pickup day.
Several groups participated: St Mary School & staff provided 12 baskets; St Mark School sent in 24, UNCW delivered 37 baskets plus a huge amount of extra items from their food drive. Many parishioners brought in baskets or donated funds so that we could do the shopping. One very loyal donor covered the cost of 47 turkeys. Hendrix Automotive, through the food bank, gave us 12 turkeys and boxes of fixings. A group I call the St Mark alumni brought in 7 baskets and came in to work with us; they were all moms that had children graduate from St Mark but wanted to continue to be involved with our Thanksgiving project. Many of my regular volunteers were on hand for pickup day and several had been working with me all month doing the prep needed.
All in all, we handed out turkeys and all the fixings to 124 individuals who will be sharing dinner with 768 people or more (we encourage them to invite a friend or neighbor to join them.) Many of the families will have plenty of leftovers for days; it always tickles me to see the extra items the UNCW kids include in their baskets – boxed cereal, mac & cheese and ramen noodles: all staples in a college kid’s diet.
Now we’re focusing on our three Christmas projects; this week we’ll be hosting our Christmas Room, offering some parents an opportunity to shop for a few new toys for their kids. The Giving Tree still has tags for gifts we need for families and we are still gathering shoeboxes for Yesterday’s Children, elders in need; those items will all be distributed on December 20 We’ll be needing food baskets for our Christmas families too. Please contact me if you’d like to participate in any of our projects.