Following health and safety guidelines, volunteers from the Monique Burr Foundation, NGCRA, Nease Lacrosse, past FURYK & FRIENDS participants, and many family groups turned out during their allotted time slots to help pack meals. The food was donated by Target, Pepsi Co, Quaker and Conagra Brands or purchased by the foundation and through online donations to Hope for the Holidays.
“The event began as a way for children to actively help others in their community and it was important for us to continue that tradition,” said Tabitha Furyk, wife of PGA TOUR player Jim Furyk and head of the foundation. “Instead of having one night where the community could come together to help those in need, we created a week-long schedule with individual slots for packing in order to provide a safe and enjoyable experience.”
Each of the 5,000 bags were packed with 15 items, including green beans, corn, chicken broth, soup, mashed potatoes, noodles, gravy, stuffing, oatmeal, cereal, granola bars, Vienna sausage and Slim Jims, as well as special holiday treats like hot chocolate and candy canes.
A total of 4,000 children in the Blessings in a Backpack program received a bag of food, as well as children in each of the following programs: The MaliVai Washington Youth Foundation, Daniel Kids, Hubbard House, Foster Closet, Community PedsCare and the USO. Sulzbacher, Mission House, Jewish Family & Community Services and the Carver Center also received canned goods and cereal.
The pandemic may have hindered local volunteers from certain opportunities to give back this holiday season. However, the Jim and Tabitha Furyk Foundation worked hard to create a safe and impactful experience for all volunteers who showed up wanting to help pack meals for local families.
“We are so thankful to our supporters, ranging from large corporations to the grade school children that show up to help us make a difference in Jacksonville and beyond,” said Tabitha Furyk.
With an increased number of families facing food insecurity this year, the Hope for the Holidays event was more important than ever to Jacksonville families in need of meals. Sponsors, volunteers and other charitable organizations all played a key role in amplifying this year’s event to secure, pack and deliver a record number of food bags.
“Feeding the children in Jacksonville, along with their families, has always been an important mission,” said Jim Furyk, a 17-time winner on the PGA TOUR and two-time PGA TOUR Champions winner. “This year, being able to help even more people was a true blessing.”