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For the Families

For the Families

Jesuit High School again has helped bring a better Thanksgiving to local families in need.

Sunday (Nov. 22), the school’s annual Thanksgiving Basket Drive culminated in the distribution of 146 abundant Thanksgiving baskets – with $50 Walmart gift cards added – to local families at five Boys & Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay, as well as Davis Elementary School.

A record-setting fundraising effort made this the biggest basket drive ever. The $14,527 raised by Jesuit students during the drive surpassed last year’s previous record total by more than $5,600. It allowed the school to distribute more baskets, include more food, and add the gift cards.

Michael Miller ’09, Jesuit’s Director of Community Service, established a goal of $300 raised by each of 30 Jesuit homerooms during the drive. After Thursday’s final collection day, all homerooms had eclipsed the $300 mark, led by the sophomore homeroom of teachers Andy Wood ’92 and Will Bryson, which exceeded $900.

Sunday morning, the month-long drive all came together at Jesuit. Following Mass in St. Anthony’s Chapel, more than 150 students, along with family members and alumni, gathered in the cafeteria for brunch and to pack all of the “baskets” (large cardboard boxes) with the bulk-purchased food – including stuffing, potatoes, rice, green beans, baked beans, corn, sweet potatoes, bread, desserts, etc., plus cooking pans and the gift cards – as well as with the 12-15 lbs. turkeys.

The turkeys were provided once again by the Dads’ Club, which had collected them on Thursday and Friday during dropoff and pickup, and before Friday’s football game. The Dads’ Club provided a turkey for every basket, and had another 82 extra turkeys, which it distributed to local food banks and charities providing Thanksgiving meals for those in need.

The basket drive generated local media coverage, with Bay News 9 airing a lengthy segment on Sunday evening, and ABC-WFTS Ch. 28 and CBS-WTSP Ch. 10 also providing coverage.

Please see a photo slideshow below from the Thanksgiving Basket Drive: 

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