Basket Brigade delivers Thanksgiving meals to families
Michelle Scarafile and Pam Hartley, co-founders of the Charleston Basket Brigade (CBB), announce that the sixth annual Charleston Basket Brigade delivered boxes of Thanksgiving groceries on Tuesday, Nov. 26 to 3,050 families (approximately 20,000 individuals). Hundreds of volunteers gathered at the Charleston Area Convention Center to assemble and deliver meals to Charleston Tri-County families. More than 1,000 individuals, area business, non-profits, schools and organizations participated in the largest community Thanksgiving charity effort in the Lowcountry.
To successfully coordinate the fundraising and volunteer effort, the CBB partnered with Carolina One Real Estate, Bi-Lo, Communities in Schools and Momentum Marketing. Carolina One Real Estate staffers played a huge role in fundraising and volunteer assistance. Bi-Lo provided the brigade with a discount on food to keep the cost of the meals low and delivered trucks of frozen turkeys, canned goods and perishable items to the central staging area. Communities in Schools located the families who received meals and assisted in mapping out routes for delivery volunteers. Momentum Marketing provided critical fundraising, public relations, marketing, event planning and coordination.
Corporate sponsors The Wrenn Group and Gwynn’s of Mount Pleasant played an integral role this year with monetary contributions to support the effort.
“It is such an honor to give back to the Charleston Basket Brigade because you know that you are helping people that are truly in need in our very own community,” added Marshall Simon, proprietor of Gwynn’s of Mount Pleasant, who also assembled and stacked boxes.
Several local businesses raised money and volunteered for the brigade. Among these were the Taylor Agency, Crews Chevrolet, Crews Subaru, Lowcountry Business Network, Indigo Road Restaurant Group and Daniel Island News. Meryl Cromarty and Daniel Island Real Estate collected more than $6,500, while 12-year-old Elysse Pardus of Mount Pleasant raised $4,800 by going door to door in her neighborhood. The Bridge 105.5 and 98 Rock held the brigade’s first ever “Radioathon” on Friday, Nov. 22 which raised funds and provided invaluable awareness for the effort. Durham School Services provided buses for delivery.
“From a football team, an elementary school class and The Center for Women to The Trident United Way Women’s Leadership Council, Boeing and more, we had volunteers from every walk of life this year,” said Hartley. “It was glorious and proves that when a community comes together, magic really does happen.
Cases of surplus groceries, including 20 frozen turkeys were donated to the Lowcountry Food Bank.
Since 2008, the Charleston Basket Brigade has raised $338,000 and fed an estimated 67,000 Charleston Tri-County residents on Thanksgiving. One hundred percent of the donations are utilized to purchase food. The box includes everything to cook a Thanksgiving meal: a 10-12 pound turkey, gravy, cranberry sauce, stuffing, potatoes, corn, green beans, sweet potatoes with marshmallows, a pumpkin pie, fresh rolls and butter. To learn how to donate and volunteer, visit www.CharlestonBasketBrigade.com.