CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Thousands of volunteers are expected to pack, prepare and deliver 3,500 boxes of meals to families across the Lowcountry for the Charleston Basket Brigade.
That delivery will bring Thanksgiving meals to approximately 21,000 people who otherwise wouldn't have a meal.
Each family will receive a box of food, which includes all the fixings: One 14-pound turkey, a bag of stuffing, cranberry sauce, two cans of green beans, two cans of corn, a box of mashed potatoes, marshmallows and a pumpkin pie for dessert.
"It's just really grown. Just the rallying and support of the whole community has expanded exponentially over the years," said co-founder Michelle Scarafile. "The involvement and the support from the community has been huge. It started very grassroots with just a small group of people and we were doing tens of baskets. I think in our first year, we did 75 baskets," Scarafile said.
Scarafile and co-founder Pam Hartley say the event and the deliveries have grown and brought out volunteers from all over. Volunteers from churches, schools, the Coast Guard and other organizations stopped by the Charleston Area Convention Center for the cause. And while the packing and assembling of the basket is special, organizations say the memorable moments mean the most to the volunteers.
"Our mission is three fold. First, obviously, is feeding families. The second being we want to try to help create a magic moment for that family by giving them everything they need to prepare for a Thanksgiving meal in their home. And then we do our deliveries anonymously. And we want to inspire the families, especially the children of the families to one day pay it forward," Scarafile said.
One of the many volunteers expected to help is Jason Reese. In his second year volunteering, he says he's prepared for the strenuous and reward day ahead. "Right now I'm helping load turkeys. In years past, I've been out on the loading dock helping load cars as well. I've done a little bit of everything," said Reese.
The Charleston Basket Brigade has raised nearly $430,000 and has fed more than 14,000 families in need, since beginning the effort in 2008.