Daniel Island based Basket Brigade to feed 3500 families on Thanksgiving
The Charleston Basket Brigade (CBB), a local Charleston nonprofit founded on Daniel Island, is celebrating its fifteenth year and will return to a live in-person event for the first time since 2019 on Tuesday, November 22, 2022. The charity has set a goal to raise $120,000 to feed 3,500 Charleston Tri-County families (approximately 21,000 people) on Thanksgiving. The CBB assembly and delivery effort will take place at the Charleston Area Convention Center - Exhibit Hall C- on Tuesday, November 22, 2022 promptly at 7:00 am. CBB is a grassroots effort and 100% of donations are utilized to purchase food. A full list of volunteer and fundraising opportunities are available online at www.charlestonbasketbrigade.org.
CBB was founded in 2008 by close friends and working moms Pam Hartley and Michelle Scarafile. What started as a small effort feeding 75 families in its first year, grew to serve 3,500+ families each year with the help of corporate partners Carolina One Real Estate, Lowcountry Grocers Piggly Wiggly, Communities In Schools of South Carolina, and Momentum Marketing. Since its inception, the Charleston Basket Brigade has raised more than $1.3 million and fed 40,000 families in need (approximately 240,000 individuals). Due to Covid concerns, the non-profit was unable to gather hundreds of volunteers safely together in 2020 and 2021, so Hartley and Scarafile opted to provide turkey vouchers from Piggly Wiggly for recipient families in 2020 and 2021. The charity also supported families in need throughout 2020 with ongoing grants for food through Communities in Schools and the Charleston County School District during the first year of the pandemic.
Hartley said, “After many prayers and much reflection, Michelle and I have decided that this will be our final year for our beloved charity. It has been a true privilege to witness this generous community in action each year. So many Daniel Island families, businesses, organizations, and selfless individuals have committed to assembling and delivering meals each year with us. We want to give everyone in our island town an opportunity to come out and celebrate our accomplishments as a community and contribute one last time.”
Scarafile has been living in Australia for the past five years which has made the charity’s annual event difficult for Hartley and her Daniel Island based Momentum Marketing team to execute in Michelle’s absence. Covid shifted the family and business priorities of the two founders, and the decision to make 2022 the final year was a difficult, yet mutual one.
“This has been a true labor of love for everyone who has been involved with this effort over the years,” added Scarafile. “We are so grateful to every single person and corporate entity that enthusiastically joined us in this endeavor. We invite you to donate and or volunteer for our fifteenth and final year.”
Hundreds of Charleston area residents, businesses, schools, churches, and organizations donate their time and/or resources each year to make the Charleston Basket Brigade happen. Volunteers gather at the Charleston Area Convention Center the Tuesday before Thanksgiving to assemble food items in boxes and volunteers deliver those meal boxes to the doors of recipient families the same day.
Hartley said, “Rising food costs and shortages will impact us this year. We need to raise at least $120,000 in a short period of time to feed these deserving families. We also are counting on at least 500 volunteers to join us on November 22nd to assemble and deliver meals. I have so much faith in this community, despite a 2-year live event hiatus, and I know we’ll pull together and make it happen.”
Scarafile added, “Our corporate partners have also been truly invaluable and continue to be. The Basket Brigade would not be possible without the fundraising and volunteer help of Carolina One Real Estate; discounts on food and logistical assistance from Lowcountry Grocers’ Piggly Wiggly; event planning, logistics, marketing, and public relations from Momentum Marketing; and assistance in locating and communicating with our recipient families from Communities in Schools of South Carolina.”
It costs approximately $30 to feed a family of six and every penny raised is utilized to purchase food. Each family receives a box of food to cook an entire Thanksgiving meal including a 10-12 lb. frozen turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, mashed potatoes, corn, green beans, sweet potatoes with marshmallows, fresh rolls, and a pumpkin pie. Inside the 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 CBB is a 501-(c)(3) nonprofit. Individual and corporate donations are tax deductible can be made online at www.CharlestonBasketBrigade.org. All major credit cards are accepted and 100% of the donations go towards buying food. Help feed local families in need this Thanksgiving. Learn how to donate and volunteer at www.charlestonbasketbrigade.org.