Woman Prepares ‘Thanksgiving in a Box’ for Struggling Families to Enjoy the Holiday Too
Food| | By Lauren Boudreau
Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful for what you have, but some people don’t have much to be grateful for. However, one Pennsylvania woman is trying to change that.
Marissa Viti, of Moon Township, Pennsylvania, wants to bring Thanksgiving dinner to families in need and raised enough money to make 50 “Thanksgivings in a Box” for people to enjoy.
Viti knows first hand how much of a struggle it can be during the holidays for families who are in need.
“It was inspired by my childhood and the struggles of being raised by a single mom,” Viti told ABC News. “We’d receive acts of kindness and two years in a row, Thanksgiving dinners.”
Viti’s boxes include non-perishable items like mashed potatoes, salt and pepper shakers, cranberry sauce, scalloped potatoes, stuffing, canned corn, and mixes for drinks, muffins, and bread, according to ABC. The box also includes a $50 gift card for a turkey, and a festive kitchen towel.
Viti started her project back in 2013 with just five boxes that she and her friends helped make by each donating money. In 2014, she created a GoFundMe page which raised enough money to make boxes to feed 24 families.
She delivers all boxes to her former high school, which then distributes them to the families to protect their privacy.
Viti says she genuinely cares about the families she’s helping.
“I genuinely care about these families, even though I’ve never met them. I want them to know it’s OK. It might be a reminder to them that times are hard, but it can still turn out positive. It can be better.”
She continued: “There’s the concept that there is a complete stranger that cares about you, that’s how I see it. In my household, we struggled, but my mom was constantly saying she loved us and she’d say, ‘I know we’re struggling in money, but we are not struggling in love.'”
Last year, a death in the family prevented Viti from assembling the boxes but this year she raised enough to make 50 boxes to feed 50 families. Viti says she hopes her gift-giving inspires people.
“If you don’t want to contribute to my Thanksgiving, start your own. Start anything that you believe in. All you have to do is convince one of your friends or one of your family members on board. It’s easy to help and it’s easy to be kind. You just have to choose to.”