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Hartselle Enquirer

Basket Brigade donates food to 303 families

Dazhary, 3, and Addison Howell, 5, help their mom, Jamie Howell, assemble boxes for the eighth annual Chappell's Basket Brigade. | Clif Knight

More than 300 needy families in Hartselle and surrounding counties received boxes of food for the Christmas holidays thanks to the eighth annual Chappell’s Family Karate Basket Brigade.

On Sat., Dec. 22, approximately 60 volunteers assembled at the Osborne, Warren and Oden Recreational Center in Hartselle to pack the food in boxes and distribute it to families from Morgan, Cullman and Limestone Counties. The cost of the food in each box is about $40.

Each box contained a turkey or ham, roasting pan, dressing, a bag of potatoes, four cans of green beans and whole kernel corn, cranberry sauce, rolls, pie and a 2-liter soft drink.

A Bible and a greeting card were included. The food in each box represented a cost of

“This is our largest ever,” said Amanda Bussey, project coordinator. “When we started the project eight years ago, our goal was to feed 50 families; we had food for 75. This year, our goal was 300 and we exceeded it by collecting enough donations to feed 303 families.

“There are a lot of people in our area that are hurting this year” she said. “This food is going to families whose bread winner is unemployed, single parent homes, the elderly and cancer patients.”

“Families receiving the food are humble and thankful, according to volunteer Melissa Cortez.

“Last year, I delivered a box to a little elderly man who has just lost his wife,” she explained. My daughter, who was six, helped me carry the food inside. He hugged my daughter and cried. The expression on his face meant a lot more to me than anything I had done. It was an awesome experience.”

“We hope by doing this God will receive the glory,” said Donna Chappell, and

recalled the reaction of one of last year’s recipients.

“This lady picked up the Bible when she opened her box of food, and, after clutching it to her heart said, ‘This is what I wanted.’”

“Our students step up and do a great job of supporting the project every year,” Bussey said. “What they receive in return is the blessing than comes form hellop0ing those less fortunate. It helps them get into a giving spirit, as opposed to a receiving spirit.”

Jonathan Chappell was recognized as the top fundraiser. His collection of donations totaled $1,032.

 

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