Sunnyside Pathfinders, Adventurers Fill Thanksgiving Baskets
Energy was flowing in Portland, Ore., as the Sunnyside Pathfinder and Adventurer clubs gathered the Sunday before Thanksgiving to pack Thanksgiving baskets. The clubs partner with the church and with Union Gospel Mission each year to get names of families in need and provide them with food, including many fixings for a traditional Thanksgiving meal. On Nov. 18, 2018, 46 food baskets were packed and handed out.
The process started at the end of October with a canned food drive, which the community and church members were invited to participate in. Then the night before the baskets were created, the club leaders went shopping. They piled the items in the fellowship hall and spread the beginnings of each basket, marked as large or medium, around the room.
On Sunday morning, the club divided up by unit and group leader and each person had a part to play. The Adventurers were in charge of putting the root vegetables into a reusable grocery bag, and so much was donated they had to go around the room a couple of times before all the items were distributed. Some Pathfinder units handed out the sparkling cider, while others sorted through the hundreds of donated cans. Yet more Pathfinders placed fruit, dinner rolls, pie and whipped topping at each place.
Once all the cans and other food had been distributed around the room, then an adult supervised packing the boxes in such a way as to not damage any of the soft foods or produce. The list was checked to ensure that each basket was complete.
This year most of the people receiving a basket came to the church to pick it up, and the Pathfinders carried the items to their cars and loaded it for them. Some, however, required a personal delivery due to transportation issues. The boys and girls of the Friends level got on the bus to make two of those deliveries.
The lady at the first home did not speak English. When they were able to communicate that they were there to deliver the Thanksgiving basket, her confusion changed into a smile. As the Pathfinders handed her the basket, followed by a sack of potatoes and then a large box of even more, she was overwhelmed. Her simple repeated “thank you, thank you” was more than enough to let the Pathfinders know that they were making a difference in their community.
The appreciation expressed at the second home was just as strong. As Andrei Gramada stated after returning from the delivery, “It feels like we are doing stuff for Jesus too.”