Hungry to Change Lives

November 7, 2014 at 11:28 am 1 comment

For many of us, Thanksgiving is a holiday steeped in tradition. One that is reflective of family coming together to give thanks for one another and pay homage to the Pilgrims and Wampanoag, the acknowledged founders of this joyous feast. Personally, just knowing that our three kids will be coming home and sleeping under one roof makes us thankful beyond measure! Even the word alone, Thanksgiving evokes images of football, family reunions, corn bread souffle roasted turkey with stuffing, cranberries, sweet potatoes and of course pumpkin and apple pies smothered with whipped cream.  The sweet kitchen smells that permeate the entire home and the crisp chill that blows through cracked windows in late November particularly resonates a feeling of fulfillment and anticipation.  Conjuring up these images makes me hungry and causes my stomach to churn and my heart to crave this day that is just around the corner.

Unimaginably, there’s a totally different kind of craving and churning of stomachs that has become a daily occurrence for countless families across America and across the world.  “This means that people are Hungry (in the sense of “the uneasy or painful sensation caused by want of food” for  days each year.

Hungry To Change Lives

So while we can feel overwhelmed with our call to make a difference or “be the change we wish to see in the world,” why not begin by reaching out within our own neighborhoods and communities and make this outreach a family effort.

Purpose of The Harvest Drive

The Harvest Drive is a yearlong project that culminates with events that take place throughout the community every Thanksgiving. Families receive a complete Thanksgiving meal and a week’s worth of grocery staples, as well as personal and household necessities during Thanksgiving season.

Children Helping Children

Educating children and creating a consciousness about the needs of their community; promoting altruism and giving them the opportunity to help others are at the cornerstone of the Harvest Drive. Harvest Drive believes in encouraging the concept of children and adults working hand-in-hand to assist families in Broward County with gifts of food and other necessities during the Thanksgiving holidays and throughout the year. The unique characteristic of the program is that in addition to the business and community donations, children are at the helm of all collections. In addition to helping others, High School clubs fundraise and collect large quantities of food obtained at local grocery stores throughout the County. Middle and elementary school students collect food and funds throughout their classrooms and other school wide activities. Civic clubs, local businesses, corporations, volunteer organizations and PTA’s have generously sponsored the Harvest Drive by providing money to purchase the perishable foods.


“We Make A Living By What We Get. We Make A Life By What We Give.” Winston Churchill

Twenty-one years ago, when my oldest son Richie was a kindergardener at Country Isles Elementary School, my family had the great fortune to participate in the Second Annual Harvest Drive Event.  Created by fellow mom and selfless friend Renee Herman and her generous family,  I vividly remember shopping with my children Richie 5, Kevin 3 and Katie 4 months and filling our grocery basket with overflowing and yummy “Thanksgiving” food plus a weeks worth of groceries. I remember the staggering realization that being in the position to give (be it your time, monetarily or through personal efforts,) was optimal and that you never know when you may be the one who needs instead. I distinctly told my children that the true meaning of Thanksgiving is the Giving part of the holiday. That significant Thanksgiving in 1993, one year after Renee Herman and her family spearheaded The First Annual Harvest Drive in 1992, our community efforts allowed us to provide several food-insecure families with a week’s worth of grocery staples, plus all the fixings for Thanksgiving Dinner and more. Twenty-two years later, with its tireless efforts to assist 2,200 families throughout Broward County this Thanksgiving, The Harvest Drive is the embodiment of  Mahatma Gandhi’s  “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”



Harvest Drive’s Year-Round Goal: 

The Harvest Drive has 190 public schools participating in Broward County this year. Each school has their own method of raising awareness and collecting the non-perishable food from this year’s need’s list.  Harvest Drive will be a resource for needy families in crisis for assistance with food and other necessities. Families are referred by Broward County school social workers and social service agencies. Harvest Drive supports several food pantries for the Broward County schools, which the school social workers use all year-round to feed families.


Please make this the year you elect to support and participate in this worthwhile, countywide charitable effort so that ‘no child goes hungry’. If you would like more information on how you can help, please see the Harvest Drive website at:  Should you know of a family in need of some assistance, kindly contact your school’s social worker for detailed information.


Harvest Drive remains a 100% volunteer charity, staffed by students, school administrators, teachers, community sponsors and “worker bees”.



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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Aubrey  |  November 7, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    This is so wonderful! It makes me so happy to read this. I can’t wait for Community Collection on Sunday!


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