HOWELL – Inspired by her former teacher, a township woman and her family are collecting food donations to make Thanksgiving a little brighter for local families in need.
“We started our collection last year after being inspired by a fellow teacher of mine from Manalapan, Jamie Bruno. She has been doing this for several years and I wanted to get started with our own collection for the local community,” Mindy Musillo said.
“Thanksgiving has always been my favorite day of the year since it is about being together with the people most important to me. I wanted to try and help make this possible for other people who may need a little extra support,” Musillo said.
Musillo remarked that, “it was also very important to me to have my children aware of how fortunate our family is and the importance of helping others.
“Last year with the help of friends, neighbors and community members we were able to create and deliver 25 baskets. This year we have over 40 families. My husband Ryan, 5-year-old son Grayson, 2-year-old daughter Reagan and I are the ones organizing the collection but we cannot do it without the help of many other people,” Mindy Musillo said.
“Last year my son Grayson decided on his own to draw turkey pictures for each family and he made sure to give one to each family we delivered baskets to. He could not wait to begin our collection again this year,” Musillo said.
The family has been overwhelmed with the support it has received and hopes that will continue through the month. “What we have seen from people around us – both those we know and others who have helped from the Howell community – has been amazing.”
So many people want to help others, but just are not sure how to get involved and we have given them a way,” Musillo said.
“The people receiving the baskets have been beyond grateful and thankful that they will be able to have a Thanksgiving dinner with their family and friends. Hugs, heartfelt thank you and smiles from the people we give the baskets to is what makes us want to continue to do this each year,” Musillo said.
There is a storage container on the front porch of the Musillo home at 3 Eric Drive to place donations in. Any donation is appreciated and members of the family will be glad to pick up donations.
“Thank you for any help you can give in our effort to help families in need this Thanksgiving,” Mindy Musillo said.
Items needed include frozen turkeys, Shoprite or Walmart gift cards, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, stuffing, canned sweet potatoes, cornbread mix, canned green beans, canned corn, jars or cans of gravy, mini marshmallows, large storage containers, large laundry baskets, cranberry sauce, cake mix, brownie mix, packaged cookies, frosting, juice, coffee, iced tea mix, Thanksgiving napkins or plates, pasta, jars of sauce, brown sugar and aluminum pans for the turkey.
Turkeys can be dropped off on Nov. 22 or Nov. 23 as the family will be delivering the baskets on Nov. 23 and Nov. 24.
For additional information or if you know of a family who could use some extra help this Thanksgiving reach out to Mindy Musillo at firstname.lastname@example.org.