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Basket Brigade Provides Meals to Families

Boys Town South Florida teamed up with community partners like the Junior League of the Palm Beaches and Florida Power and Light on Saturday, Nov. 22 for the 24th Annual Basket Brigade. Over 100 volunteers from businesses ​public and non-profit sectors, helped by forming an assembly line to fill baskets with fixings for a complete Thanksgiving dinner.

Each year, the event brings together volunteers that want to make a difference in lives that often are forgotten. One volunteer, Patrick Hopkins, a 15-year-old sophomore honor student from Cardinal Newman High School in West Palm Beach, Florida, has been volunteering at Boys Town South Florida for almost two years. He was inspired by what he saw and wanted to do more to help troubled children and families in need, right here in his own back yard.

“I volunteered last year for the Basket Brigade and delivered baskets and knew this was a great opportunity to be involved in my local community,” said Patrick. Boys Town recognized his vision and passion to serve his community and asked Patrick to become the Junior Chair of the event, which he gladly accepted. “As the junior chair, I was able to dive in and assist with many different aspects of the event, from tracking the county-wide need, to working on distribution, product placement and even fundraising efforts related to the campaign. Preparing 300 food baskets takes a lot of time and coordination and it was a lot of fun to go to the local grocery chains and order 400 turkeys! To be a part of such an enormous effort within our community is very rewarding.”

Thanks to Patrick and the other volunteers, 300 underprivileged families in the West Palm Beach community received baskets containing boxed stuffing, potatoes, dinner rolls, a frozen turkey, canned fruit, and a cookie tray among other items. For these families, just the necessity of warm food can bring back the priceless joy of a full tummy. And for volunteers like Patrick, it means the opportunity to support his community and organizations like Boys Town South Florida.

“Patrick is a natural born leader who selflessly and intentionally added value to our children, our campaign and most importantly, to our community”, said Dr. Noemi Coltea, Boys Town South Florida Development Director. “If our next generation of leaders follows his lead, our future is in good hands”.

“Having the opportunity to volunteer at Boys Town is very rewarding because I am a part of a team of professionals and have the chance to see first-hand how this charity serves the community,” said Patrick. “Dr. Coltea is a great role model by giving me assignments that give me perspective on the practical day-to-day operation of a charity. I feel like I am part of a team — a really great team!”