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Annual Basket Brigade brings Thanksgiving to 200 Chico families

"Life is not about how many days we lived but in how much depth we've had in that time," said Farshad Azad.

Posted: Nov. 22, 2017 4:47 PM

It's called "Turkey Day" for a reason - and perhaps kids can say it best.

"The family all gets together, even if you don't like your brothers and sisters, you'll still get along, otherwise you won't eat!" said Dakota Evangel, a local volunteer and martial arts student.

And of course, on Thanksgiving we celebrate gratitude for all the good in life.

"Life is not about how many days we lived but in how much depth we've had in that time," said Farshad Azad, Owner of Azads' Martial Arts Center in Chico.

But for too many families, gathering around an extravagant meal is just not in the cards ... that's where Azad's Annual Basket Brigade comes in.

"One of my kids came in and had raised $50 in change from his classmates to feed a family of 8. How great is that?" said Azad.

"For some people who can't afford it, it allows them to eat, and makes them feel ... Not left out, it's a really good thing for the community," said Dakota Evangel.

Community members donated money and time to purchase full course turkey dinners for hundreds of local families, and local kids played their part in the charity.

"We got done carrying these boxes in here, which were heavy!" said Evangel.

Then, it's an hour of games where kids fill the baskets through a series of challenges.

"Children are coming in because it's fun for them, but in the process of the fun, we want to teach them to care, to be kind to other people," said Azad.

Next, teams of drivers hit the town to hand off the carefully prepped meals packages to homes across the community.

"That's probably my favorite part, to get to go out and see the families, it's a great time," said volunteer Josh McGee. "You'll go to a lot for families that will be so happy, the kids will make cards, you can tell how grateful they are."

"It makes me proud to live in Chico, we need to do more of it, but it's a good start!" said volunteer Lori McDermott.

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