Thanksgiving is meant to be a holiday celebrated around the dinner table, sharing a home-cooked meal with those who are near and dear. However, for some families who have experienced hardship, this sadly may not be their experience.
Fort Lauderdale’s most historic church, First Presbyterian Church of Fort Lauderdale, will bring together more than 200 volunteers to pack approximately 750 baskets filled with all the ingredients to help those in need have a Happy Thanksgiving!
“It is in giving that we receive,” said Kathy Craven, Chair of the Thanksgiving Basket Drive.
“Thanksgiving is all about giving back, brightening the day of others, and seeing someone smile because of a thoughtful deed. It is truly a blessed time.”
Funded by, in part, through generous donations from the Church’s congregation, this project started in the 1960’s when Rev. Dr. John Taxis and Bill Zeiher challenged First Pres’ young worshipers to emulate Jesus Christ. The challenge was to express love, like Jesus would, by sharing Thanksgiving dinner with low-income families. Since the drive’s early beginnings, the mission has grown tenfold.
This year, the committee, which is chaired by church members Sally Botkin and Kathy Craven, is expected to raise more than $27,000 for the Thanksgiving project through donations from the First Presbyterian Church of Fort Lauderdale congregation and grants from the Rotary Club of Fort Lauderdale, FPL, the Presbytery of Tropical Florida, and Publix. In addition, volunteers from the Boy Scouts, Salvation Army, Family Embrace and others will assist in the effort to pack and deliver the baskets.
“We purchase all of our food from Publix to ensure the families we serve get the exact foods that they need to make a fresh Thanksgiving meal,” said Craven. “Our baskets include a turkey, stuffing mix, gravy mix, sweet potatoes, green beans, cranberry sauce and of course pumpkin pie.”