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Giving Thanks

Giving Thanks

Jesuit High School’s annual month-long Thanksgiving Basket Drive culminated Sunday (Nov. 20), as Jesuit students delivered 168 abundant Thanksgiving baskets to families in need in the Tampa Bay area.

About 150 Jesuit students, along with many family members and Jesuit staff, came to campus Sunday to celebrate Mass and then prepare the “baskets” – large cardboard boxes packed with everything needed for a complete, robust Thanksgiving meal for a large family: frozen turkeys, cooking pans, stuffing, potatoes, rice, cranberries, vegetables, gravy, and more.

The Jesuit cafeteria was bustling late Sunday morning after Mass, with everyone enjoying breakfast and filling up the giant cardboard boxes with Thanksgiving meals. The students then delivered the baskets to families at five area Boys & Girls Clubs, as well as to families connected to the Migrant Education Program, along with a few that were delivered directly to private homes.

Bay News 9 reporter Cait McVey covered the event, and a segment aired on Bay News 9 throughout Sunday evening and Monday morning, please see the video below. WTSP-CBS Ch. 10 also aired a report about the basket drive on Monday, click here to view. 

Jesuit’s Director of Community Service, Andy Wood ’92, challenged the student body last month to raise more than $300 per homeroom via weekly collections, enough to guarantee the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay that Jesuit’s Thanksgiving Basket Drive would deliver 125 baskets. The students responded by raising more than $10,000 (with an assist from a Jesuit Mothers’ Club bake sale), which enabled the school to provide meals for an additional 43 families via the Migrant Education Program.

The money was used to bulk purchase all of the food (except the turkeys) and supplies for the baskets, and each basket also included a $50 Walmart gift card. The Jesuit Dads’ Club provided the turkeys, collecting about 300 from the school community. The extra turkeys collected will be dispersed to organizations helping those in need.

Please view the Bay News 9 video below, and view a photo slideshow below that:


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