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Something to be Thankful For

Bridges of Hope has provided the community with a Thanksgiving Basket Program since 2009. Although it can be a very busy, stressful time of year, it is also one of the most fun and rewarding programs that I am a part of at the organization. (And we do a lot of fun, rewarding things here!)

It’s fun to be able to do something out of the ordinary from my more typical daily tasks, and it’s rewarding to be able to see community members from area churches, businesses, service clubs, and individual families come together to help families who would likely not be able to afford a Thanksgiving meal otherwise. Every year the program has grown, and this year we are expecting to serve approximately 275 families! We rely on the amazing generosity of our sponsors to make this a reality.

Another reason this is such a rewarding program is due to the fact that it is one of the best opportunities for Bridges of Hope to offer a more “hands on” experience for those of our partners and supporters out there who are looking for that kind of experience. This program allows sponsors the opportunity to shop for the food themselves and personally deliver the basket to the family.

We realize this is not the kind of experience that everyone is looking for, and so we are happy to offer other kinds of ways to interface with Bridges; including volunteering, shopping and donating at Common Goods; serving as a mentor in our new Side by Side program; and financially supporting our work with families. But for those of you considering sponsorship this Thanksgiving, I would like to share with you what a past sponsor (who is sponsoring again this year) shared with me recently. She was talking at her church group about the program and encouraging others to get involved, and she shared her experience delivering the baskets last year: “we were able to have conversations with the families and tell them about who we were and invited them to come to our Thanksgiving Eve service at church.” For this sponsor, the unique, personal experience was what made it a great.

Of course, we also realize that not every sponsor can afford the time to personally deliver their basket, and so Bridges of Hope offers the option for sponsors to instead shop and deliver the food to our office, so that another volunteer can deliver the basket to the family. However, we find that most sponsors choose to deliver the baskets themselves! If you would like more information on the program and how to become a sponsor, please click here.

While my post so far has been on the sponsors, the true focus of this program is the families receiving the baskets. The families are the reason we run the program, and serving them in the best way possible is how we make decisions on how the program should be run. Since 2009, you have helped provide over 600 meals to families for Thanksgiving–and we have received numerous thank-you calls and notes from those families, expressing just how thankful they are–and isn’t that exactly what Thanksgiving is all about?

I am so thankful for all of the families we are able to serve because of our amazing sponsors that make this program possible! Thank you!

Sponsors are still needed for this year’s program. To sponsor a family for Thanksgiving this year, visit our website for details.

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