Thanksgiving overflows

“All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.” —2 Corinthians 4:15-16

Each year, families in need throughout the Brainerd Lakes Area are able to share a Thanksgiving meal thanks to the generosity of many in our community.

Nine years ago, Bridges of Hope began a seasonal campaign pairing donors with families in need each Thanksgiving. Donors provide a turkey and accompanying side dishes, and deliver to their ‘adopted family’ just prior to Thanksgiving Thursday.

(It’s) super rewarding,” commented one donor. “I was able to provide two meals and lots of extras with the help of my great friends and family. The tears of joy from  one of the moms we gave to was unlike anything I’ve ever seen. She was BEYOND grateful! Amazing!”pie

Referrals come in to Bridges of Hope of families in need by a variety of organizations throughout the area. Bridges staff solicits interested individuals willing to donate a meal, and then pair families with sponsors based on geographic area and any other preferences a sponsor may have.

Bridges of Hope Program Specialist Janelle Vesely said while the number of sponsors varies from year to year, the need for meals continues to be great.

At this point, we are on track to serve 200-plus households,” she noted. “If that is the case we still need more sponsors; specifically in the Crosby, Deerwood and Ironton area.”

In 2016, the Thanksgiving Meals program:

    • Served 222 households consisting of 947 people
      • 556 children (0-17)
      • 391 adults (18+)
    • Found the largest household served was 14 people
    • Found the average household size was 4


Consider making the holidays a little brighter for someone. The deadline to sponsor a family is November 15th. For additional information, call Bridges of Hope or visit

–Written by Jenny Holmes with assistance from Janelle Vesely

Thanksgiving Meals

pieHere are Bridges, we are again coordinating Thanksgiving meals for households in need during this holiday season. We anticipated receiving about 275 applications by this past Friday’s deadline.

We actually received over 360 applications and 208 kind-hearted sponsors have already stepped forward. Thank you!

If you haven’t already, please consider sponsoring a household for Thanksgiving. We are still in need of over 150 sponsors so these families do not go without a meal on Thanksgiving.

I partnered with a co-worker here in our office last year to sponsor a family. We shopped for, packed & delivered the usual fixings for a holiday meal. The family was so appreciative and the cute little gal who answered the door was especially excited about the fact that we brought two pies. “Now we can share one with our neighbors!” she said.

Wow! Isn’t that what it’s all about? Sharing the gifts we have with others.

If you can find the time to help out by sponsoring a household, we would really appreciate it. Please help us spread the word as well. We are looking for participation from individuals, families, church groups & co-workers. To be a sponsor, please contact Janelle in our office at or 218-825-7682.

Thank you for helping us build Bridges!

Tuesday 11/19/2013 update: Our final count of applications came to 370–nearly 100 more than any prior year. We now have 234 households sponsored (thank you!!), and we are in need of 136 additional sponsors. Click here for sponsorship details.

Thursday 11/21/2013 update: Thank you for your amazing response, Lakes Area! We now have just 50 households (all adult households without children) in need of sponsorship. It’s not too late to become a sponsor: call Janelle today at 218.825.7682 or click here for sponsorship details. And thank you so much.

Friday 11/22/2013 update: As of 10:15 AM, we have received sponsors for every single household–we are overwhelmed with gratitude! Thank you, and thank you again for meeting the increased need right alongside Bridges of Hope.