Students, instructors and staff of the school will work together to feed less fortunate families in the Santa Barbara area as part of a national project called the “Thanksgiving Basket Brigade.”

“For many of us Thanksgiving is a very special time of the year, a time for family and friends, and a time to express gratitude,” said Dave Wheaton, co-owner and Chief Instructor of Martial Arts Family Fitness. “Last year our “family” of martial artists was able to feed 75 families, and our goal is to provide full Thanksgiving meals to 100 families this year. The current economic situation has adversely affected many of our neighbors, and we want to give back. We, as a school and a business, certainly have a lot to be grateful for, and part of who we are is to give thanks and share in our good fortune.”

The Adopt-a-Family program allows students, staff and their families to donate money that will be used to purchase food, which in turn is included in the food baskets. Students assemble the baskets while youth students create greeting cards that are part of the basket. Students and staff then distribute the baskets to families that have been identified. Donations start at $25, and a $50 donation fills a basket with a complete dinner for the adopted family. The basket will include all the makings of a delicious Thanksgiving dinner, including turkey, stuffing, vegetables, sweet potatoes, dinner rolls, pie and apple cider.

“As health professionals and members of this great community we feel that it is important to help others,” added Melodee Meyer, co-owner of Martial Arts Family Fitness. “It is important to me, personally, that others are able to enjoy a healthy meal. We are reaching out to local businesses to ensure that we get the freshest items to include in these baskets.”

“Baskets will be assembled at our school on Saturday, November 19th,” added Mr. Wheaton. “Our volunteers will assemble and deliver the baskets this day. Last year we built and delivered baskets to 75 families; this year we will help feed 100 families through the efforts of our school.”


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