On 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.”
With 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.
Scarafile 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.”
The 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.”
“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 www.CharlestonBasketBrigade.org.