The generous SLC congregation and hard working youth have teamed up again this year to put together 41 Thanksgiving Baskets for families in our area identified by Kitsap Community Resources. I thought folks might want to know more about how this worthwhile project takes place and what it takes to put these baskets together. It would take about $45-$50 per basket if we were to go out and purchase all the ingredients ourselves but, because of our church’s generosity, we pay $0! This year all 41 turkeys were donated by congregation members and from the Rolling Hills Men’s Club, who donate turkeys every year.
As soon as we advertise to the congregation that we are putting Thanksgiving Baskets together, the donations start pouring in. Many donate non-perishable items including stuffing, gravy mix, corn bread mix, canned vegetables, chicken broth, canned sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie mix, evaporated milk, cranberry sauce, canned fruit, jello, sparkling cider, roasting pans, and laundry baskets. And others donate money which is used to buy perishable items including potatoes, celery, carrots, onions, fresh oranges, margarine, pie crusts, and dinner rolls.
In the weeks leading up to putting the baskets together, the food is sorted and counted. On Saturday we had three shopping groups of adults and youth go out to purchase all the perishables and the remaining non-perishables needed. Once the shopping was done, all the food was sorted out in the Gathering Place to prepare for actually putting the baskets together.
On Sunday, about 20 Confirmation Youth got the fun job of sorting the 200 lbs. of potatoes, 50 lbs. of onions, 80 lbs. of carrots and oranges, and heads of celery into individual bags for each basket. After the sorting was done, about another 20+ High School Youth joined in and went down our Thanksgiving Basket assembly line, filling our laundry baskets to the brim with every item listed above! Every basket gets a letter signed by our youth, wishing the recipients a Happy Thanksgiving and inviting them to join us for Christmas Services.
All the turkeys were delivered on Sunday as well, and put into about 25 coolers that SLC members brought in to temporarily hold the frozen turkeys. And then on Monday the Kitsap Community Resources team, headed up by Jenell DeMatteo, arrived at church to pick up and deliver the baskets to their identified families. They are always so appreciative of the work our congregation and youth have done to provide these baskets.
I would like to give a huge thank you to all those who donated food, money, and their time for this most worthwhile event. I am amazed every year at the generosity of Silverdale Lutheran and am glad to help in spreading that around.