Where: Lock N’ Roll Storage
When: Saturday before Thanksgiving @ 9:00 am
What: Fill the baskets and deliver to households
For Thanksgiving of 1996, Dick Forrester organized our now annual Thanksgiving Basket project consisting of baskets of food that are delivered to needy families in time to be used for a nice Thanksgiving Day Dinner. In 1996, we delivered 20 baskets.
Since the inception of the program, the Rotary Club of Aggieland has provided hundreds of local families with all the “fixin’s” for a full Thanksgiving Dinner. In the months prior to the holiday and through a variety of sources, the club identifies families who might not be able to afford a traditional Thanksgiving meal due to financial hardship, medical conditions, or physical challenges . With the financial and in-kind support of club members and other individuals, church groups, schools, and local businesses, the club purchases frozen turkeys, stuffing mix, canned vegetables, sweet potatoes, marshmallows, cranberry sauce, fresh fruit, dinner rolls, and desserts. Local school children contribute their time and talent to decorate the cardboard boxes with a Thanksgiving theme in which these items will be delivered.
On the Saturday before Thanksgiving, club members gather in the morning to assemble the boxes, each of which contains the right amount of ingredients for the size of the family to which it will be delivered. Aggieland Rotarians, with the welcome help of family members and other volunteers, fan out across our community to deliver the boxes to each intended destinations. The smiles and expressions of thanks that club members receive from the appreciative families are ample reward for the months of logistical planning, fund raising, and labor required to pull it off each year.
The project began small at first; however, it has grown substantially over the past years as the club has increased its ability to identify needy families, raise funds to purchase food, and organize the volunteer workforce necessary to carry out a project of this magnitude. In 2007, the club delivered 100 complete Thanksgiving Dinner Baskets to less fortunate fellow citizens in the Brazos Valley. The Thanksgiving Baskets Project just illustrates one of the ways that the Rotary Club of Aggieland is living up to the Rotary International Motto of “Service Above Self”.