Sixth Annual Charleston Basket Brigade Assembled and Delivered 3,050 Thanksgiving Meals to Lowcountry Families In Need
WOW! The 6th Annual Charleston Basket Brigade raised nearly $100,000 and delivered boxes of Thanksgiving meals yesterday to 3,050 Lowcountry families (approximately 20,000 residents). More than 1000 individuals, area businesses, non-profits, schools and organizations participated in the largest community Thanksgiving charity effort in the Lowcountry by fundraising and assembling and delivering meals to families on November 26th.
We want to thank every single person in the community that made The Charleston Basket Brigade happen from businesses and organizations to individuals in the community. We can’t thank you enough. So many local businesses, friends and kind-hearted organizations joined in on our effort this year donating money, resources and their time to make this ossible. We are so grateful.
To successfully coordinate magnitude of fundraising and volunteer effort, the CBB partnered with Carolina One Real Estate, Bi-Lo, Communities in Schools and Momentum Marketing. With over 800 employees, 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 semi-trucks of frozen turkeys, canned goods, and perishable items to the central staging area at the North Charleston Area Convention Center. Communities In Schools, an award winning non-profit dropout prevention organization with 41 staff members that serve thousands of students (92% from low-income families) in 30 schools throughout Charleston and Berkeley Counties, -+located the families that received meals based on need and assisted in mapping out routes for delivery volunteers. Momentum Marketing (Hartley’s company) provided critical fundraising, public relations, marketing, event planning and coordination.
“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 yesterday.
Several local businesses raised money and volunteered for the brigade including Taylor Agency, Crews Chevrolet, Crews Subaru, Lowcountry Business Network, Indigo Road Restaurant Group, Daniel Island News and much more. Meryl Cromarty and Daniel Island Real Estate raised over $6,500 for the brigade, while 12-year-old Elysse Pardus of Mount Pleasant raised $4,800 from going door to door in her neighborhood. The Bridge 105.5 and 98 Rock held the brigade’s first ever “Radioathon” on Friday, November 22nd which raised funds and provided invaluable awareness for the effort. Sam Mustafa of Charleston Hospitality Group came out to volunteer and handed out a coupon for a free barbecue sandwich from his restaurant Queology to every single Basket Brigade volunteer. Durham School Services provided buses for delivery.
The brigade finished box assembly and set-up in record time on Monday, November 25 with the help from volunteers from Charleston Trident United Way Women’s Leadership Council, Boeing, Charleston County School of the Arts, Alcoa, Cummins and many other organizations. Hundreds of volunteers came on Tuesday, November 26th beginning at 7:00 am to help assemble and deliver every single meal including employees from Carolina One Real Estate, The Center for Women, Dunston Primary Elementary School students and more. Robert Crews and the Crews Chevrolet team were champions and provided a recycling truck to haul away all of the trash and recycling. The Carolina Chargers Football team loaded boxes into buses and vehicles and were among the last volunteers to leave as they helped us load the thousands of cardboard boxes into the recycling truck.
“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. It was mind blowing how much support we got this year and we thank each and every person that made it all happen in such a big way.”
Cases of surplus groceries, including 20 frozen turkeys were donated to Lowcountry Food Bank yesterday as well.
Since 2008, the Charleston Basket Brigade has raised $338,000 and fed an estimated 67,000 Charleston Tri-County residents on Thanksgiving. 100% of the donations are utilized to purchase food. The box includes everything to cook a Thanksgiving meal: a 10-12 lb. turkey, gravy, cranberry sauce, stuffing, potatoes, corn, green beans, sweet potatoes with marshmallows, a pumpkin pie, fresh rolls and butter. 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.”