Nov 26, 2014 12:28 AM by Jason Atcho
Hundreds of volunteers showed up tonight at Azad's Martial Arts Center to lend a helping hand to our fellow neighbors. They wanted to make sure needy families in Chico didn't go without a Thanksgiving dinner.
"Everybody deserves to have a Thanksgiving," explained Meric Crobit. He started attending Azad's Martial Arts Center when he was four and that's how he got involved with the Thanksgiving Basket Brigade. "Around eight years old, I finally found out about basket brigade. I ended up being like the little kids who are here right now and from there I've always loved it."
People of all backgrounds came together to help those they don't even know. They assembled a full Thanksgiving dinner for needy families in the community. "You see everyone here and it's fun. Everyone has a big smile on their face. Everyone's having a good time," said Corbit.
The event started 23 years ago when they helped one family with a Thanksgiving dinner and it has now grown to feed over 200 families a year. "We help local families who are really feeling the stress of financial times and are first time recipients. We don't help the same family twice," explained Grandmaster Azad, of Azad's Martial Arts Center.
Each year they see some familiar faces returning to lend a helping hand. "Every year we have families that come over here because they received in the previous years and now they want to be part of the help," said Azad.
Corbit says he'll always remember when he and his mother delivered a dinner to family in need. "They were just so happy that they were almost in tears. And my mom, being the softie that she is, she started breaking down into tears. It was such a great moment because it truly showed how much we help the community."
Even though the event is over, people can still help. A major part of the program is from donations from the community. You can also get a tax write off. You can contact Azad's Martial Arts Center for more information at 530-896-0777.