Thanksgiving is a time when people give thanks to those around them, unite as family and friends, and enjoy a traditional turkey dinner.
The Thanksgiving dreams of 250 Gainesville families in need of assistance will become a reality with the second annual Thanksgiving Basket Giveaway and Resource Festival at the South West Advocacy Group Family Resource Center.
SWAG is a grassroots, community organization that strives to improve the living conditions, educational opportunities and quality of life for residents in the Tower Road area west of I-75. Monetary support for SWAG is provided by the Partnership for Strong Families.
The SWAG Family Resource Center aims to provide programs, services and activities for the community that connects residents with resources and opportunities otherwise inaccessible to them because of income or transportation limitations.
Katie Fields, a SWAG family resource center manager, said that families who preregistered would be able to pick up Thanksgiving baskets beginning at 4 p.m. Monday at 807 SW 64 Terrace.
Fields said the Family Resource Center received about 1,200 visits and provided 1,300 services in October. Each service offered is tied to one of five protective factors, which, when present in families, are shown to reduce the likelihood of abuse and neglect.
Thanksgiving baskets will include traditional sides such as cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, canned vegetables, rice and pasta. Turkeys will be provided by the Veterans Advisory Board.
Jenn Petion, director of community and government relations for Partnership for Strong Families, said that there will be more than 15 organizations available at the festival to provide families with information on education, employment and healthcare opportunities.
“While it’s great that we can help families with a short-term need, but our goal is to connect families to resources that can provide long-term stability,” Petion said.