Happy Thanks-GIVING


Paul and I are so overwhelmed with gratitude…we are still basking in the glow of our Philly Basket Brigade event last Sunday!

Seven years ago, Paul and I founded the Philly Basket Brigade, by feeding two families out of our kitchen for Thanksgiving.  This past Sunday, over 150 volunteers came together with us to feed 504 families for Thanksgiving!!! That’s thousands of children that will be baking cookies and frosting a cake instead of standing on a food line today…on this THANKS-GIVING day!

If you had told me seven years ago that I would be standing in the middle of a football field surrounded by over 150 mothers, fathers and children who all came to help us feed thousands of mothers, fathers and children for Thanksgiving I would have thought you were crazy!

And yet, that’s exactly what happened! WHY?

Paul and I are committed to creating a FUN, SAFE and MEANINGFUL giving experience for families, particularly KIDS, so they can experience the JOY of GIVING!  And so many people JUMP at the opportunity to come and participate!  WHY? Because GIVING FEELS GOOD!!!!

Bob Burg, the author of my number one favorite book of all time, The Go Giver, said it best: A person’s self worth is measured by what they give in excess of what they are compensated for! Said differently, we all feel that our worth is measured by what we GIVE that we do NOT actually get paid for! That’s true GIVING! And that’s why it feels so good!  Because we all have worthiness, we all have value and we can all make a difference in someone’s life.

To kick off the Philly Basket Brigade event on Sunday Paul spoke to the dozens of little kids gathered around to decorate and pack boxes.  He explained to them how they are impacting the lives of the kids that are receiving these boxes today! That every child who receives this decorated gift of groceries, and is empowered to make their own feast, will feel cared for, supported and know that someone out there cares about them.  He told each child who decorated a box that there would be another child on the receiving side who will remember this gift that a stranger sent on Thanksgiving! He reminded them that someday that child will grow up to positively serve the world that we live in because of the GIVING that we are doing for them today!

Everyone has value….even the 16 month old who colored her hand turkey on the box and stuck little leaf stickers on to make it pretty.  She’s giving HER gift to another child.  She’s sending out the message “this is not a hand out, this is a gift that I made for you”.  That’s a powerful gift to give someone!

And the message that was put into every single box before it was taped closed “This gift comes to you from someone who cares about you.  All we ask is that you care enough about yourself to do this for someone else one day.”  Because the family who receives that gift has the same worthiness and ability to have an impact as that 16 month old girl who decorated their box!

As I looked around with tears in my eyes at all the volunteers who came to create a magical Thanks-GIVING for 504 families I told them that I was reminded of a quote from Helen Keller.  “Alone we can do so little but together we can do so much!”

Alone, Paul and I fed two families that first year…..together with our community we fed 504 just seven years later!

But if you think about, the opposite is also true!  We think that alone we can do so little, until we realize the impact that the 16 month old girl has who puts her hand turkey onto that box and transforms it from a hand-out of groceries to the GIFT of a Thanks-GIVING feast!

We are more powerful to create impact then we give ourselves credit for.  The only time we are truly powerless is when we just sit by the sidelines and do NOTHING!  That’s the biggest tragedy of all.

So I ask you, how are you GIVING?  What impact are you having?

You don’t have to feed 504 families to have an impact.  The first year, Paul and I went to the supermarket and purchased what we could to feed 2 families.  I promise you, that year, those 2 families were impacted by what we did.

Is there someone in your space that could use a kind word today?  Does someone need a hug?  Is someone in your world struggling and could use a friend?  Maybe someone you know could really use a couple of new books to give to their kids for the holidays and you could drop that off on their porch and not tell them who it’s from?  Do you know a single mom who could use 2 hours of you watching her kids so she can just get a break?  What about that family who is still out of work, do you know someone who you could connect them to for some holiday work this season?  Can you send up a prayer right now for someone who is sick or tired or lonely?

You have so much to GIVE! Just GIVE it!  It feels so good!!!

Next year….The Philly Basket Brigade has a goal to feed 1,000 families!!! Are you with us??? Join us at www.PhillyBasketBrigade.com and like us on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/PhillyBasketBrigade

Sending love,