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Community : Top Stories Last Updated: Nov 28, 2012 - 8:57:54 AM


Charleston Basket Brigade delivers Thanksgiving meals to 3350 families
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Nov 28, 2012 - 8:56:07 AM

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Michael and Cori Smith of Daniel Island and their 3 sons raised $220 selling baked goods door to door on DI. The family also donated thier time to help pack and deliver. Many other Daniel Islanders contributed time and money to the cause.


More than 500 volunteers gathered last Tuesday as part of the 4th Annual Charleston Basket Brigade to pack and deliver 3350 boxes of full of grocery items including a 12 lb. frozen turkey, canned corn, green beans, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, a bag of marshmallows, boxed stuffing and potatoes, gravy mix, a frozen pumpkin pie, fresh rolls and butter.  Enclosed in each box is an anonymous letter that reads “This comes to you from someone who cares about you.  All we ask is that you take care of yourself well enough to be able to do this for someone else one day.”
The nonprofit partnered with Carolina One Real Estate, Piggly Wiggly, Communities In Schools and Momentum Marketing to feed an estimated 20,000 people on Thanksgiving Day by raising just under $100,000.00 through the efforts of hundreds of local volunteers and concerned citizens. 100% of money raised went to buying food. Each year, the local nonprofit writes Piggly Wiggly the largest check in the company’s history for a single order.  
Close friends Pam Hartley and Michelle Scarafile began The Charleston Basket Brigade in 2008 with a commitment to bring the community together to provide Thanksgiving meals for families in need in Charleston.  In total, they’d raised over $238,000 to feed more than 47,000 local residents.
“This was our biggest year ever, more volunteers, more families in need, more delivery routes to route, more money to raise, more everything” said Hartley of Daniel Island enthusiastically.  “It was awe-inspiring to experience the outpouring of support from thousands of people willing to help by donating their time and money.  We are so humbled.”
The CBB estimates over 20,000 people prepared a meal together and sat around their Thanksgiving tables as a family as a result of this effort by thousands and thousands of community members.
“Our ultimate outcome is to elevate the level of gratitude in this community on Thanksgiving Day,” said Hartley.  “The people who volunteer, donate, assemble and deliver meals are so grateful for the opportunity to serve and the recipients are filled with gratitude, often tears. It’s a beautiful thing.”
Carolina One staffers and agents along with countless community volunteers raise money, assemble the meals at the Convention Center and deliver meals to the families. Communities In Schools, a non-profit dropout prevention organization that serves over 10,750 students (92% from low-income families) in 23 schools throughout Charleston and Berkeley County, locates the families that will receive meals based on need and maps out directions for delivery. Piggly Wiggly provides discounts on food, boxes, and delivers food to the staging area for assembly and delivery. Momentum Marketing (Hartley’s company) provides public relations, marketing, fundraising and event coordination assistance.
2012 marked the largest fundraising effort yet for the brigade. For the second year in a row, The Charleston Area Convention Center (with the support of the Mayor’s office) donated 25,000 sq. ft. of space to serve as a central staging area for assembly and delivery. Daniel Island Park Day, The Armada Real Estate/Lowcountry Business Network Golf Outing, and The Coastal Cupboard Charity Knife Sharpening event benefitted the CBB this year.
The CBB is a 501-(c)3 nonprofit. Individual and corporate donations are tax deductible and can be made online at www.CharlestonBasketBrigade.com.  All major credit cards are accepted and 100% of the donations go towards buying food.
For more information, visit www.CharlestonBasketBrigade.com.
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