SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Santa Barbara Dojo, a family-owned and operated martial arts school, gathered donations and volunteers to distribute Thanksgiving food baskets to families in need this weekend.
Their Adopt-a-Family program encouraged dozens of students, instructors and staff from the school to collect, assemble and deliver food to families in the Santa Barbara area.
"Thanksgiving is a very important time of the year for all of us," said Master Austin Curtis, owner of Santa Barbara Dojo. "Our ‘family’ of martial artists, instructors, fitness students and staff have fed over 1,500 Santa Barbara families since we started in 2010. This year is our eleventh year doing this and we continue our tradition of providing complete Thanksgiving meals to local families that otherwise might not be able to celebrate and enjoy the holiday. As a martial arts school, we believe that it is our responsibility to help others and make our community a better place to live for everyone. This is one simple way for us to express gratitude for the blessings of this past year.”
Fitness and martial arts students, staff and their families were asked to donate money for the purchase of holiday food.
Donations started at $30 with a $60 donation being sufficient to fill one basket with a complete dinner.
Each basket included all the fixings necessary for a delicious Thanksgiving including a turkey, stuffing, vegetables, sweet potatoes, dinner rolls, butter and pie.
The baskets were assembled on Saturday at the Santa Barbara Dojo, located at 122 E. Gutierrez Street, and delivered to families throughout Santa Barbara immediately after.
"Sixty men, women and kids showed up to make 120 baskets and then delivered them as well,” said Master Austin. “Our incredible volunteers included Megan Duffy, Claire Yusingco and Ray Janik who coordinated so many of our efforts. It is always amazing to see the reaction of the families that receive these baskets. We are so proud of our students for all their hard work in making this a successful community event where we do our part in taking care of each other and our neighbors.”
The dojo partnered with Family Service Agency of Santa Barbara, Transition House of Santa Barbara and Jardin De las Rosasand to identify local families in need.
For information on the Santa Barbara Dojo, visit www.santabarbaradojo.com or call 805-963-6233.