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Charleston Basket Brigade Blog
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The Pig Is Back!

The Charleston Basket Brigade (CBB) is pleased to announce that Piggly Wiggly is the official 2016 food partner for our 9th annual event.

The 2016 goal is to raise $105,000 to feed 3,500 Charleston Tri-County families (approximately 21,000 people) this year for Thanksgiving. This year the CBB will take place at the Charleston Area Convention Center on Tuesday, November 22, 2016 promptly at 7:00 am. The 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
As the official food partner, all groceries will be purchased from Piggly Wiggly. Piggly Wiggly has also committed an $11,000 discount on food to the Charleston Basket Brigade, and will coordinate all of the food being delivered to the Charleston Area Convention Center for meal assembly.

Lynn Willard, President of Lowcountry Grocers, LLC, said, “We are thrilled to be the food partner for the Charleston Basket Brigade. This is a true local partnership of local people and local companies making a difference. This is an opportunity for our Piggly Wiggly family to help out other families in need. We work and live in this community, and we see the people that need help every day. One hundred percent of the Charleston Basket Brigade effort helps people that are truly in need. It is humbling and exciting to be a part of it.”

Pam Hartley, co-founder of the Charleston Basket Brigade said, “After our first year, we teamed up with Piggly Wiggly in 2009. Piggly Wiggly was the most generous partner to work with and supported our efforts in many ways. We worked with closely with the Pig for several years until the company sold most of its stores throughout Charleston. When Lynn Willard approached us earlier this year about Piggly Wiggly lending its support, we were ecstatic. As a local company, Piggly Wiggly is the perfect match for the Basket Brigade. Our mission is grassroots and heartfelt, and Lynn Willard and his entire Piggly Wiggly team share in our vision and passion to serve our local community. We couldn’t be happier to have them as our grocery partner.”

The CBB was founded in 2008 by close friends Pam Hartley and Michelle Scarafile. What started as a small effort feeding 75 families has grown to serve 3,500 families in its ninth year. In the past eight years, the Charleston Basket Brigade has raised a total of $534,500 and fed 17,839 families in need (approximately 142,712 people; as each meal feeds six to ten people).

It only takes $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. 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.”

Hundreds of Charleston area residents, businesses, schools, churches, organizations raise money and volunteer each and every year to make the Charleston Basket Brigade happen. After a year of fundraising, volunteers gather at the Charleston Area Convention Center to assemble the meals and then hand deliver every single to meal to the receiving families.

To successfully execute the effort, the CBB also partners with Carolina One Real Estate, Communities In Schools, and Momentum Marketing.

Charleston Basket Brigade Receives First Time Grant from The Exchange Club of Charleston, SC

all recipient charitiesOn Thursday, April 21, 2016, Charleston Basket Brigade co-founder Pam Hartley and CBB organizer Emily Trogdon proudly accepted a $3,000.00 grant from The Exchange Club of Charleston, SC during the club’s annual grant luncheon held at The Citadel Alumni Center. This was the first time the Basket Brigade applied for and received a grant from the esteemed service club. Michelle Scarafile, CBB co-founder, was out of the country and unable to attend but was there with us in spirit!

A total of 74 charities were selected to receive 2016 grants from 141 applicants. A whopping $704,219.00 in checks were handed out today as a result of the money raised at the Exchange Club’s 2015 Coastal Carolina Fair. The club also supports many other charity, emergency and community initiatives each year in addition to the 74 grant recipients.

“Most people may not realize that the Coastal Empire Fair is such an enormous fundraiser,” said Hartley. “I had no idea how much money was raised and that the sole purpose of the fair is to give back to the community. Wow.”


total donation 704219With a motto of ‘Unity for Service’, Exchange Club members put in a total of over 20,000 hours of volunteer time at the fair each year to raise more than a million dollars, which goes right back into the community to help those in need.

Scarafile added, “The club’s hard work, service and dedication to the Lowcountry impacts such a large number of people in the surrounding counties. The ripple effect is tremendous.”

“I was overwhelmed today to hear the names of the 74 charities in attendance as well as the specific grants the club provides,” said Hartley. “From computers, cribs and dental services to gardening equipment, safety vehicles, horse care, hospice, rescue inhalers, food and more – The Exchange Club’s reach is so expansive in our beloved community. The grants generated from the Coastal Carolina Fair each year is evidence of our community at work, helping one another.”

We encourage everyone to spread the word and attend the Coastal Carolina Fair this year October 27-November 6, 2016. Special thanks to

the fair sponsors, who also make these grants possible.

Emily Trodgon Carl Schultz Pam HartleyScarafile said, “We are beyond thrilled to be one of 74 charities recognized. To every single person that made this possible – thank you. Our gratitude is endless.”

It’s A Wrap!

12304483_895499650504175_18737199522749578_oThe CBB is on a mission every year to provide Charleston area families with all of the ingredients they need to cook a Thanksgiving meal.

This year was our biggest effort to date – with a mission to feed 3,500 Lowcountry families. And yesterday we did just that!

Hundreds of volunteers piled in the Charleston Area Convention Center to assemble all of the meals and then hand-deliver each and every meal to the receiving families.

The press we received from the local stations was amazing!  Aaron WCIV and Live 5 News were there bright and early at 5am to do their spots and we made the front page of The Post & Courier.

In order to feed 3,500 families (approximately 21,000 residents) we had to raise $105,000.  It only takes $30 to feed a family and each meal feeds a family of six. Every family receives all of the ingredients to cook a Thanksgiving meal: a 14 lb. turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potatoes, marshmallows, corn, green beans, Jiffy cornbread mix and a pumpkin pie.  Finally, the meal comes with a note that says “This comes to you from someone who cares. All we ask is that you take care of yourself well enough one day to do this for someone else someday.”

2015-CBB-front-page“When a community comes together, magic happens,” said our co-founder Pam Hartley. “The list goes on and on of people who make this effort happen every year. Members of the community, local organizations, churches, and countless community members donate their time and money to feed their neighbors in need. The Charleston Basket Brigade is the result of our loving, philanthropic, Charleston community.”

Our own Emily Trogdon added, “It is always such a heartwarming experience to see hundreds of smiling volunteers come together to provide a meal to those in need at Thanksgiving. It brings tears to my eyes every year to see the outpouring of support to serve these families that would otherwise not have a Thanksgiving meal. Thank you to everyone!”

A special thank you to EVERY SINGLE VOLUNTEER who joined The Charleston Basket Brigade this year; especially our partners, Carolina One Real Estate Services and Communities in Schools.  We would not be able to create this magical event with out you.

See more photos from the event on the Charleston Basket Brigade’s facebook page here. ​

The Charleston Basket Brigade is still in need of donations. Please visit