Volunteers deliver Thanksgiving baskets to families in need

Basket Brigade organizers hope to feed 25,000 people across Central Florida

ORLANDO, Fla. – Volunteers were busy Saturday, delivering baskets filled with food to thousands of families in need across Central Florida ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.

This marks the 20th year the organization Basket Brigade is collecting and delivering baskets to families in Orange, Osceola, Volusia and Lake counties.

"You  never know what difference you're going to make," founder Joetta Raylot said.

Nastasshi Lewis was a basket recipient last year. She lost her job, her car was repossessed and she couldn't get any help.

"I wasn't quite sure what i was going to do for Thanksgiving, but I prayed about it," Lewis said.

Then she was delivered a basket of hope right to her doorstep. It was filled with everything she needed for a delicious Thanksgiving meal.

"I lost it. I lost it. I ugly cried, but I will never forget that moment. I was so grateful to whoever sent it," Lewis said.

This year, Lewis wanted to pay the kind gesture forward, so she joined hundreds of volunteers at First Baptist Orlando Saturday morning to help families in need. 

The community dropped off baskets that were filled with donations. 

"My prayer is about 5,000 baskets will go out today and that would feed over 25,000 people in one morning." Raylot said.

Volunteers loaded up their vehicles and drove off, surprising families at their door with the special deliveries.

Everyone receiving a basket was so grateful for the random act of kindness. 

"I appreciate that very much," Annie Mayhue, who received a basket, said.

For Lewis, it was all about delivering the same joy she received last year.

"For someone to help me, this goes for anybody out there, just pay it forward always. You just never know," Lewis said. 

About the Author: