The Surrey Basket Brigade with baskets full of ingredients to make a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. (Submitted photo)

Surrey Basket Brigade, inspired by Tony Robbins, delivered 80 turkey dinners for Thanksgiving

Second annual initiative was orchestrated by Surrey realtor and other volunteers

SURREY — On the Saturday before Thanksgiving, Surrey Basket Brigade went to work delivering complete turkey dinners to 80 families in need, from Vancouver to Aldergrove, feeding close to 500 people in the process.

The group’s second annual charitable effort was orchestrated by Nischal Ram, a realtor with Sutton Premier Realty on 104th Avenue in Surrey, with the help of more than 20 volunteers who donated money and time to the cause.

The event is done in collaboration with Anthony Robbins Foundation, whose leader launched the Brigade movement long before he became wealthy. When the famed motivational speaker was young, his impoverished family received a turkey dinner from a total stranger.

“Surrey Basket Brigade’s ultimate goal is to make a difference in other people’s lives by handing out food baskets to people in need for Thanksgiving,” says a post on the group’s Facebook page.

“Lots of organizations step up to help during Christmas, but not for Thanksgiving,” Ram stated. “We wanted to make sure that families in need knew there are strangers out there who care about them. We hope to help more families in the coming years.”

On Oct. 7, for a second year in a row, the Brigade delivered baskets full of ingredients to make a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, including a frozen turkey, cooking pan, mashed potatoes, carrots, rice, bread, stuffing, pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce, crackers/cookies, gravy, canned vegetables and candies for kids.

To make it all happen, more than $4,000 was raised by Nischal and his like-minded helpers.

“Our group of volunteers donated $3,150 and the City of Surrey donated $1,000 for this great cause,” he stated.

“We work with various organizations like the City of Surrey, Immigration Service Society of BC, schools, churches and the Lookout Society to find families (that) truly deserve and will appreciate a Thanksgiving basket.”

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