Vince Carter's Embassy of Hope Foundation, in partnership with Publix Supermarkets, will distribute bunches of greens, boxes of food and warm Christmas wishes for 100 families Friday, Dec. 20.
The foundation's 15th annual holiday food basket distribution for previously identified families in front of the Vince Carter Athletic Center at Mainland High School, 1255 W. International Speedway Blvd., Daytona Beach.
"People have been calling the office for the past several weeks just to make sure we're continuing this tradition," NBA star Vince Carter said in a news release. "It's tough for people to provide a big Christmas meal for their families right now. This basket will lift a little bit of that burden."
Mr. Carter will be otherwise engaged Friday with his job with the Dallas Mavericks, with a game in Toronto where he started his career.
But employees from Publix and Embassy board members will help Mr. Carter's foundation assemble the food packages and load them into cars, vans and trucks. The feasts will be bound for the tables of families that have been identified by local schools, churches and non-profit agencies that include Children's Home Society, Campbell Middle School, Westside Elementary, Palm Terrace Elementary, and Holly Hill School. All families have at least two children.
Mr. Carter's foundation began distributing baskets in 1999. Dubbed "Believing in Christmas," the event strives to provide a holiday dinner basket for economically disadvantaged families. However, the word "basket" is a bit of a misnomer. Because of the size and weight of the items, meals are placed in boxes or crates.
Each year, the foundation hosts two fundraising events -- a golf tournament and charity gala. Proceeds from these events and friends of the Embassy of Hope Foundation fund the purchase of the Christmas baskets, along with two $1,500 college scholarships to high school band, basketball, and/or volleyball students, and grants to local schools and agencies. Recent recipients include 100 Deputies 100 Kids Inc., Salvation Army, Great Kids Explorer Club Inc., Children's Medical Service, Domestic Abuse Council, Jerry Doliner Food Bank, New Smyrna Beach Police Athletic League, Halifax Urban Ministries and Halifax Health Foundation.
"By hosting these fundraising events, we provide an avenue for the people who attend to reach out and help pay for these baskets, the scholarships and local grants," Mr. Carter said. "They have a hand in this, too. The community helps us to raise the money to give to others who need it."
Founded in 1998, Embassy of Hope is a private, non-profit foundation with a primary focus on children. For more information, visit vincecarter 15.com.
For more information on the event, call (386) 239-8215.