Bringing Thanksgiving Meals to Families in Need

The Gabel Basket Brigade

Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017
1:00 – 3:00 pm.
Lewis Mills High School, Burlington, CT

17 years and going strong! This holiday, we’ll again be creating and donating Thanksgiving baskets filled with all the fixins’ to less fortunate families in the central Connecticut area. From now through the Sunday before Thanksgiving, we’ll collect financial donations that are used to purchase all the food that goes into the baskets.

As in years past, 200-300 donors and their families will come together at the Brigade to help assemble all the baskets, and prep them for pick up by our charitable partners who will in turn distribute them to families in need.

Last year, the Brigade built and delivered over 800 baskets to families, seniors and veterans in need. There is always great need, and we appreciate your generosity in advance – and welcome to the Brigade!

President Signature
Baskets Built
Pounds of Turkey Distributed

Begin your holiday season by making a difference.

Join us (either in person or in spirit!) as we spend an afternoon actively participating in giving – by building baskets filled with a turkey and all the fixins’ needed for families to prepare their own homemade Thanksgiving meals.

This is a great way to give back and actually experience the act of contribution. Participate in the Brigade, and see the conversations and questions it provokes in your children, your friends, and yourself.

Donate / Register to Attend

How the Brigade Works

Through our partnership with Gnazzo’s Food Center in Plainville, CT, we’re able to pre-buy all the food for the baskets at wholesale (or better) prices. Additionally, Pepperidge Farms, Fellowes and Handi-Foil have joined our team over the years and graciously donate basket items at no cost. Combined with your donations, we’re able to assemble hundreds of baskets (800+ last year) that we then distribute to nearly a dozen charitable organizations.

The baskets contain everything a family needs to cook and prepare a Thanksgiving meal: a frozen turkey, potatoes, vegetables, bread, desserts and even a roasting pan and instructions for how to cook the turkey.

• $30 will build 1 basket and feed up to 6 people.
• $50 will build 2 baskets and feed up to 12 people.
• $75 will build 3 baskets and feed up to 18 people.
• $100 will build 4 baskets and feed up to 24 people.

You can particpate in two ways:

1. Make a donation to sponsor the purchase of food for baskets.
2. Donate, and also attend the Brigade to help build the baskets.


Yes! Nearly 50% of our donors are unable to attend the Brigade. You can still make a financial donation for any number of baskets, and we’ll build them on your behalf.
In order to secure the best food pricing, it’s best if we have our final numbers by Thursday, November 17, noon.
Yes. If possible, we ask that you let us know that you’ll be attending, and what your contribution amount will be so we can include it in our totals.
Starting in 2017, we are officially a charitable organization! (Cory and Donna Gabel Foundation). However – our 501(c)(3) non-profit status is still in the work with IRS, so we expect all donations to be fully tax deductible beginning in 2018.
No. All food items and turkeys are purchased in bulk prior to the event.
Yes! We also will have a “non-basket” collection of miscellaneous food items that we’ll deliver to a homeless shelter for use in their kitchen.
The majority of volunteers that help build baskets at the Brigade also make a financial donation. We do have limited opportunities for youth groups (Girls Scouts, Student Leadership, etc.) to assist with preparations for the event and basket building that we normally accommodate on a first-come, first-serve basis. Feel free to e-mail us to inquire!
Not directly. Donna and Cory have both attended numerous ARF events, and from that, were inspired to begin their own basket brigade chapter. Thousands of people around the world will be hosting similar events in their homes and communities in the days leading up to Thanksgiving. Last year, ARF-inspired basket brigades created and distributed over 3 million baskets worldwide.

Our Business Sponsors

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The start of something big.

We began the brigade 17 years ago in Ventura, California. We had both attended an Anthony Robbins conference, and were intrigued by his International Basket Brigade. After inquiring about which local Brigade chapter we could volunteer for, we were instead told “there isn’t a brigade in Ventura – you should start one!”

So, we took the plunge. That year, we and a few friends met at our home the Sunday before Thanksgiving, went to a local grocery store and bought food. We assembled baskets to make a Thanksgiving meal – turkey, potatoes, stuffing, vegetables, bread, dessert – eventually delivering 15 baskets to the local Boys and Girls Club.

The next year, we had moved to Connecticut, and continued the Brigade in Burlington. Every year it grew, until we couldn’t fit all the food in our garage and driveway, and the Region 10 School District instantly jumped in and offered us a new home.

We’ve come a long way since then, with massive help from friends, families and businesses throughout the community. We hope you’ll join us!

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Thank you for your support!

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