Twenty-two Vermont families will be having a happier Thanksgiving this year thanks to food and holiday supplies provided by the Rice Memorial High School community in South Burlington and distributed by Vermont Catholic Charities Inc.

“In total there are 23 baskets, and we are helping 22 families. These baskets are overflowing and so unique – from coloring books and matchbox cars to pottery turkey platters, candles, tableware and so much food. Each basket has the makings of a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner but also an abundance of fruit, sweet treats and many canned goods, toys and other surprises for the families,” said Vermont Catholic Charities Emergency Aid Coordinator Irene Manion. “I believe this year in particular that the recipients have been particularly grateful. Although due to Covid I was unable to visit with the families, the squeals of delight from the children in the back seat [of the cars picking up the baskets] along with the gracious gratitude of the parents/grandparents said it all. It is wonderful to be able to bring joy to people at such a difficult time.”

For Rice senior Hannah Cawley, collecting food for the Thanksgiving baskets provides a sense of joy because she knows that her school has helped so many families host a Thanksgiving dinner through the years. “Putting together the baskets is a humbling experience, which reminds us of the pressing need in our local community,” she said. “It’s a fun and collaborative classroom activity that allows us to serve families in need and expand on our Rice mission” that includes a commitment to service and to community.