The Jim & Tabitha Furyk Foundation 9th annual Hope for the Holidays looked a little different this year. The health and safety of the volunteers as well as the increased need in the community created some unique challenges. Thankfully, the holiday light shone bright and the foundation was able to secure enough food to distribute to 5,000 plus families in the greater Jacksonville area.
Supporters from CAA, Monique Burr Foundation, NGCRA, Nease Lacrosse, past FURYK & FRIENDS participants, plus family groups came during their allotted time slots to help pack. The food was donated by Target, Pepsi Co, Quaker, Conagra Brands or purchased by the foundation and through online donations to Hope for the Holidays.
“The event began as a way for children to actively help others in their community and it was important for us to continue that tradition,” said Tabitha Furyk. “Instead of having one night where the community could come together to help those in need, we created a week-long schedule with individual slots for packing in order to provide a safe and enjoyable experience. It has always been our mission as a foundation to bring awareness and support to those less fortunate and this year it was more critical than ever. We are so thankful to our supporters, both the large corporations and the five-year olds that help us make a difference in Jacksonville and beyond.”
Over 5,000 bags were packed with 15 items including green beans, corn, chicken broth, soup, mashed potatoes, noodles, gravy, stuffing, oatmeal, cereal, granola bars, vienna sausage, slim jims as well as special treats: hot chocolate and candy canes. In addition to the 4,000 children in the Blessings in a Backpack program who received bags, children in each of the following programs got a bag: The MaliVai Washington Youth Foundation, Daniel Kids, Hubbard House, Foster Closet, Community PedsCare and the USO. Sulzbacher, Mission House, Jewish Family & Community Services and the Carver Center also received canned goods and cereal.