Irish Community Connections by Irish Community News
17th Annual NYC Basket Brigade has raised more than $10,000
Posted on Tuesday, December 11, 2012 at 08:07 AM
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NYC Basket Brigade, Inc. (NYCBB), based in Tarrytown, NY announced that the 17th Annual NYC Basket Brigade has raised more than $10,000 this month, purchased groceries, and has assembled and delivered enough individual food baskets to feed more than 800 people for Thanksgiving throughout the NYC tri-state area, including many families in Staten Island and the Rockaways and other areas who lost everything because of Hurricane Sandy.
The food baskets were purchased, assembled and distributed in time for Thanksgiving by more than 120 volunteers in two locations – Sacred Heart School gym in Hartsdale, NY in Westchester County and the home of Nahaz and Diane Quddusin Jamaica Estates, Queens. The volunteers included teens who helped with assembly and children who decorated the baskets with drawings and stickers. The event takes place each year the weekend before Thanksgiving. NYC Basket Brigade, Inc., a New York State not-for-profit corporation, works with local charities to identify families in need, raises money, recruits volunteers, purchases food, assembles baskets and delivers them in time for these families to prepare a traditional Thanksgiving meal.
“This year, we are excited that we had our first corporate sponsor,” said Tom Martin of Tom Martin Media, PR Chair and one of the organizers of this event. “My friend and colleague Sally Shepard was able to arrange a donation of 240 boxes of cookies from Newman’s Own Organics, run by Nell Newman.” We are very grateful for their generous donation, a demonstration of their corporate mission to donate all profits to charity.” Newman’s Own Organics was itself founded at Thanksgiving in 1993 as a division of Newman’s Own after Nell Newman convinced her father, actor Paul Newman, by creating a completely organic Thanksgiving dinner and then suggesting organic food products for the Newman’s Own line.Stephanie Slawek also obtained donations of Capri Sun Juice boxes from Kraft Foods.
In the past several weeks, Seamus Behan, Fundraising Chair for the NYCBB has reached out to all of our donors and volunteers from 2011 by e-mail, phone and direct personal contact. “I was impressed by how quickly we were able to raise the funds this year.” said Seamus. “Despite a late start due to some technical challenges, we raised enough money to feed 50% more families than last year. Most of the funds came in within about two weeks because all of the organizers worked together as a team to reach out to donors and volunteers through their own personal and professional networks, including social media such as Facebook and Linkedin.”
Seamus is of Irish descent and has recruited several Irish volunteers and donors.
The NYC Basket Brigade has been running in New York for many years, and is part of the International Basket Brigade. Grass-roots local organizations all over the world collectively feed more than three million people each year.
“Beginning this year, in 2012, we have moved to create a more formal local structure and have now formed a not-for-profit corporation so that we can better grow this effort in the tri-state area,”said Frank Clark, President of NYC Basket Brigade, Inc. long-time volunteer, and one of the primary organizers for the past two years. “We had new donors, sponsors, volunteers, organizers and leaders emerge this year, and will build on this for next year’s effort.Many of our volunteers still come from the New York Power Team, which started this project many years ago.”
“It only takes about $45 to feed a family of 4-6 at Thanksgiving, and every single penny we collect goes toward buying food,” said Seamus Behan. “This is my favorite event of the year!”“The bottom line is that the organizers, volunteers and donors feel so much gratitude as a result of doing this year after year, because we get to see directly the impact that we are making for each family.” said Queen Coordinator Carla Rose.
The meal includes a 13-15 lb. turkey, stuffing, potatoes, gravy, corn, green beans, sweet potatoes, fresh fruit. cranberry sauce, bread, juice and dessert. Each family receives an anonymous letter inside the basket 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.”
Individual and corporate donations can be made online at www.nycbasketbrigade.com. All major credit cards are accepted and 100% of the donations go towards buying food. Additional donations and volunteers are needed to extend this through the rest of the holiday season. For more information, please visit http://www.NYCBasketBrigade.com.