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Charleston Basket Brigade asking for donations to help families this Thanksgiving

Updated: Nov. 23, 2020 at 7:35 AM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Charleston Basket Brigade is asking for donations to help provide turkeys for more than 3,000 families in need this Thanksgiving.

For the past 12 years, the Charleston Basket Brigade has hosted about 1,000 volunteers at the Charleston Convention Center to put together meal boxes and then deliver them directly to people’s homes. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, that tradition has changed.

Charleston Basket Brigade Co-founder Pam Hartley says they wanted to make sure families in need were still able to have a Thanksgiving turkey this year.

Hartley says they reached out to families and sent them gift cards to pick up a turkey at different Piggly Wiggly locations in Ladson, Moncks Corner, North Charleston, and Hanahan.

The charity group connects with most of the families through the ‘Communities in Schools’ non-profit. The non-profit is a part of Trident United Way and puts families of students in Charleston and Berkeley Counties in touch with the Charleston Basket Brigade.

Hartley says that while they could only commit to turkeys instead of full meals this year, they still need donations to fund the 3,500 turkeys.

“With everything that’s going on with COVID, this is an opportunity for us as a community to come together and serve people in need right here,” Hartley said. “And when we do that together, there is no division, we’re all one. United in serving one another, and so I invite everyone to be a part of what we’re doing this year for Thanksgiving.”

Families started picking up turkeys last week and the pick-ups continue through Tuesday, Hartley says.

Hartley says by donating $30, someone can provide roughly two families with turkeys this year. She adds that 100% of donations will go towards purchasing turkeys.

The Charleston Basket Brigade says their goal is to raise $63,000.

The Charleston Basket Brigade says people can donate the program on their website.

Along with providing the turkeys for the Charleston Basket Brigade, Hartley says Lowcountry Grocers’ Piggly Wiggly stores also raised money at their four local stores by offering a “change roundup” at the cash registers.

Hartley said, “They raised $8,300, which will help provide additional support to the ‘Communities in Schools’ program through the Charleston Basket Brigade beyond Thanksgiving as economic hardships continue.”

The Charleston Basket Brigade website says 100% of the money collected at checkout will be donated to feed these families.

‘Communities in Schools’ says their mission is to help kids stay in school, by assisting their outside needs. The non-profit says one of the central ways they help is by giving families in need food throughout the school year and summers.

‘Communities in Schools’ Community Engagement Coordinator Aimee Lassor says the number of hardships families are facing has grown exponentially this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There’s just so much need in the community. A lot of our families are the parents, you know they’re working in the hospitality industry that’s been so affected, hotels, medical workers, grocery store workers, folks who have to go to work,” Lassor said. “Or, when school was out for so long, they had to make that choice to care for their families.”

Lassor says each year Trident United Way assists ‘Communities in Schools’ through a monetary grant. She says that money usually lasts throughout the entire school year, but because of the increase in families’ needs, they have spent a majority of that money already.

‘Communities in Schools’ wants families to know they are here to help from food services, to counseling and tutoring opportunities.

The organization says anyone can get involved or donate by going to the Communities in Schools website.

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