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Martial Arts School Kicks Off Holiday Basket Brigade

Martial Arts Family Fitness, a family-owned and operated school dedicated to improving lives through martial arts, has announced that for the seventh consecutive year it is coordinating an Adopt-a-Family program for Thanksgiving.

Students, instructors and school staff will work together to feed less fortunate families in the Santa Barbara area as part of a national project called the “Thanksgiving Basket Brigade.”
"Thanksgiving is a very important time of the year for many of us," said Melodee Meyer, co-owner of Martial Arts Family Fitness. "Our family of martial artists fed over 150 families last year — about 600 people — and over 1,000 families since we started in 2010.

"Our goal for this year is to continue our tradition of expressing gratitude for what we have and provide complete Thanksgiving meals to local families that otherwise might not be able to celebrate and enjoy the holiday," she said.

"As a martial arts school, we have a responsibility to help others, and it is a great lesson for the children and adults we call our family. This is one simple way for us to express gratitude for this past year,” she said.
The Adopt-a-Family program encourages students, staff and their families to donate money that is used to purchase food, which in turn is included in food baskets. Students and staff assemble the baskets, then distribute them to families that have been identified.

Donations start at $30; a $60 donation fills a basket with a complete dinner for the adopted family. Each basket includes all the makings of a Thanksgiving dinner, including a turkey, stuffing, vegetables, sweet potatoes, dinner rolls, butter and pie.

Baskets will be assembled starting at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 19, at Martial Arts Family Fitness, 122 E. Gutierrez St. Delivery begins right after the assembly and runs until 1p.m.
“After such an emotionally heavy week following the election, the annual Basket Brigade provides an opportunity to become unified to accomplish good in our community,” added Karina Muñoz of Martial Arts and coordinator of this year’s Basket Brigade.

“It is a time to come together and share the love for others and pass that example to our children and youth in the community. It will be an overwhelming feeling of joy everyone will feel on Saturday which is much needed.

"We are proud to partner with the Family Service Agency, Transition House, People Self-help Housing for St. Vincent's Garden, and are grateful for their assistance in identifying families that may not otherwise celebrate Thanksgiving in the same manner that most of us do.

"As a school and a business, we have a lot to be grateful for and part of who we are is to give thanks and share in this gratitude,” Muñoz said.
“Our incredible volunteers will assemble and deliver the baskets with cards created by our youth students,” said Meyer. “It is always amazing to see the reaction of the families that receive these baskets. We are so proud of our students for all their hard work in making this a successful community event where we do our part in taking care of each other.”

For information on Martial Arts Family Fitness visit or call 963-6233.

— Alex Rodriguez for Martial Arts Family Fitness.


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