Each year, for the past five years, Shaker Junior High School Math Teacher Mike Moffre and his family like to give back around Thanksgiving. They assemble full Thanksgiving dinner baskets for people in need as part of the initiative they started in 2016 called “HeartsGiving.”
“We used to shop for and fill Thanksgiving food baskets each year with Master Yang’s Tae Kwon Do when our son, Michael, was attending program there,” Kim Moffre said. “Then, Michael received his black belt he decided not to advance further there. That first year I felt like we were missing something and had the idea to start donating Thanksgiving dinners on our own.”
That is when the wheels started turning and the ideas for “HeartsGiving” began.
“I had the idea six days before Thanksgiving and in that short time we were able to give seven families Thanksgiving dinner that year,” Moffre said. “Each year we have grown significantly. We do this operation out of our garage with the help of so many people and from the donations of family, friends and community members.”
The Moffre family has volunteers who help them shop, assemble and deliver all of the baskets, including their son’s local boy scout troop. Community members either donate the food or they donate gift cards/money for the Moffre’s to shop with.
“This would not be possible without the incredible support of family, friends, neighbors and the community,” Moffre said. “137 families were able to have a nice Thanksgiving dinner this year because of so many people.”
The Moffre family started a Facebook page where followers send them people or families they know who are in need and would not otherwise be able to provide their own Thanksgiving meal. The Moffre’s also work with local organizations to ensure that families in need are receiving these meals.
Each Thanksgiving basket includes at least: an 18 lb. or larger Turkey, two cans of jellied cranberry sauce, bag of potatoes, two boxes of stuffing mix, a bag of carrots, two cans of corn, two cans of green beans, two jars of gravy, one bag of rolls, a bag of clementines or apples, two 2 liter bottles of a drink and two desserts.
“It is important to us to give back to our own school district,” Moffre said. “I am a graduate, my husband is a teacher and both of our kids attend.”
Over the past five years the Moffre’s have delivered 311 Thanksgiving dinners and this year, 46 recipients were North Colonie families.
Watch the WTEN Channel 10 story on the Moffre’s here.