ORLANDO, Fla - "The thought of children being hungry on thanksgiving is intolerable," says Julie Poluski, who has organized an annual Thanksgiving basket drive for Embrace Families for the last four years.
That is the motivation behind the baskets filled with food and assembled with love.
"We collected 60 baskets of food for Thanksgiving meals," Poluaski says proudly.
Each basket is filled with potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, all the traditional fixings.
"We include a $20 gift card, so the family can purchase a turkey or ham to complete their meal, " she says.
Poluski and her neighbors in the laureate park neighborhood in Lake Nona do what they can to make sure families do not go hungry this Thanksgiving.
"I think everyone is looking for something to do to give back to our neighbors who might be in need this holiday season," she suspects.
Sharon Nelson is the Director of Engagement for Embrace Families says "food is a basic need, just like shelter."
Sixty baskets are going to families who are a part of embrace families "Pathways to Home" program."
"A Thanksgiving meal for four could equal $50. That's a really conservative estimate. So, that could be someone's water bill. That could be buy diapers. So if they don't have that financial impact. If we can absorb that for them, it allows them to put their finances in much-needed areas," Nelson says.
"I think "pathways to home" is a great resource for families who are homeless or on the brink of homeless to provide them resources and services to try and keep their family together and make sure they have stable housing, so it's nice to do a little bit to support them," Poluski says.\
"I think these baskets are awesome," says Latoya Morris who works directly with families who are struggling to make ends meet.
She sees the joy this simple gesture brings every year.
"Just to see the kids’ faces when you deliver the baskets. Jumping up for joy wanting to see what they received, and it's just a form of happiness," Morris, a case manager for Embrace Families, says. "It's a small little thing that hopefully brightens their day and lets them know that their neighbors are thinking about them."