Fort Lauderdale, FL (November 19, 2014) – The true spirit of giving and helping those in need will come alive on Saturday, November 22, 2014 at First Presbyterian Church of Fort Lauderdale. More than 200 volunteers will spend the day packaging and delivering more than 700 Thanksgiving baskets filled with all the ingredients for a traditional Thanksgiving meal to those who need it most.
“The Annual Thanksgiving Basket Drive Mission Project began in the 1960’s when Rev. Dr. John Taxis and his elder partner, Bill Zeiher, challenged the youth in the congregation to show the love of Christ by sharing Thanksgiving dinner with 100 low-income families,” said Tim Dobbins, pastoral associate at First Presbyterian Church of Fort Lauderdale. “Church elder George Harris and I continued this challenge, and the spirit and the numbers grew. Soon we were helping 300 then 500 families – Now we are able to serve more than 700 families in need!”
Under the guidance of Sally Botkin, who has organized and executed this monumental mission project since the late 1980’s, the more than 700 needy families who will receive baskets are selected based on submissions received by the Salvation Army and other local community organizations. Once selected, these recipients receive letters providing instructions on how they can obtain their Thanksgiving basket. Additionally, the church delivers 100 baskets to residents of the FPL housing project.
More than 200 volunteers, including members and youth of First Presbyterian Church of Fort Lauderdale, members of the Rotary Club of Fort Lauderdale, members of the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, and many others from the community will participate in the distribution of the Thanksgiving baskets beginning at 8:15 a.m. at First Presbyterian Church of Fort Lauderdale on Saturday, November 22, 2014. Nursing students from Nova Southeastern University will also offer free blood pressure checks.
This year’s Thanksgiving project cost approximately $22,000 and is funded primarily by contributions from members of the First Presbyterian Church of Fort Lauderdale. Several community partners also lent their support to make the project a success, namely: Publix, who helped define the menu and obtain food items at discounted prices; FPL; the Rotary Club of Fort Lauderdale; and Home Depot, who loan 15 to 20 grocery carts to the church each year.
For more information on the First Presbyterian Church of Fort Lauderdale’s Thanksgiving Basket Drive Mission Project, call (954) 462-6200.
About First Presbyterian Church of Ft. Lauderdale
Founded in 1912, First Presbyterian Church of Ft. Lauderdale is located on the banks of the New River in the historic Colee Hammock neighborhood in downtown Ft. Lauderdale. With more than 1,800 members, and a strong core of volunteers, First Presbyterian Church of Ft. Lauderdale prides itself in offering something for everyone, regardless of age. Since 1947, First Presbyterian Church of Ft. Lauderdale has operated Happyland Day School, a pre-school for ages two to Kindergarten that provides a quality Christian environment for the children of the community. Adult, youth and children choirs as well as youth groups offer ample opportunity for fellowship at any age. An Adult Activity Center is open to senior citizens and features weekly lunches, entertainment and monthly bus trips. First Presbyterian Church of Ft. Lauderdale offers three regular Sunday services as well as special worship services held throughout the year to commemorate significant days. For more information, please visit the website at www.firstpres.cc.