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Thanksgiving Basket Drive 2023

Thanksgiving Basket Drive 2023

Hundreds of Jesuit students, families, staff, and friends all came to campus on Saturday morning (Nov. 18) to complete a wonderful Thanksgiving Basket Drive at Jesuit High School.

When it was over, when all the Thanksgiving "baskets" were packed and delivered to families at eight local Boys & Girls Clubs and in the Migrant Education Program, a total of 305 food-insecure families now had a robust holiday meal to enjoy on Thanksgiving.

It was the culmination of another phenomenal community effort for the basket drive. The students generated record funds – more than $19,500 in homeroom collections, plus more than $5,000 for Homecoming Fun Day – to purchase all the side items and fixins; the Dads' Club collected all the frozen turkeys (more than 400) via generous Jesuit families at drop-off and pick-up; and the Mothers' Club collected dish towels, serving utensils, and oven mitts that were included in all of the baskets, along with a Walmart gift card.

The 305 family meals delivered equals the drive record of the previous two years. Extra turkeys were distributed to charities, and extra funds will likewise be distributed to local charities. 

"It was just an incredible day, and a fitting end to a record-setting Thanksgiving Basket Drive," said Andy Wood '92, Jesuit's Director of Community Service. "The Jesuit school community is amazing in the fact that when there is a need in the community, we give everything we have and make sure that need is met. There is willingness to give that is inspiring and infectious. Thank you to all who have made the Thanksgiving Basket Drive a huge success every year."    

This year, the concluding event for the basket drive moved from Sunday to Saturday for the first time, but nothing else changed – the enthusiasm for the Thanksgiving Basket Drive was as strong as ever. It started at 10:00am with Mass in the Chapel of the Holy Cross, followed by breakfast in the cafeteria, and then the 600+ volunteers got to work in Oliva Courtyard on the "baskets" – first taping up the large boxes and then filling them with frozen turkeys, all the sides and extras, and everything else needed for an abundant, complete family meal.

Each basket was then brought to a specific family at one of eight local Boys & Girls Clubs (30 families at each club) throughout the area, plus another 65 were delivered to families connected to the Migrant Education Program in east Hillsborough County.

Thank you to everyone who supported the Thanksgiving Basket Drive! Please view photos below, and a video of Saturday's event is coming soon!