(From left to right: Dan Rose, Erin Rose, Courtney McLaughlin, Kevin McLaughlin, James Ferraioli, Guillermo Gonzalez, Jamie Mazza, Nick Mazza)
For the last 3 years, Clifton born-and-raised Dan Rose,30, of The Diversified Companies in Bloomfield, with the help of his two friends Nick Mazza and Ryan Brady of Revive LLC, have been holding an Annual “Basket Brigade”. Every Saturday and Sunday before Thanksgiving since 2013, they traveled around North Jersey to a few towns (Clifton, Paterson, Bloomfield, Woodland Park, etc.) delivering baskets full of Thanksgiving Meals to families in need.
This Annual Basket Brigade was inspired by the one originally organized by the world-renowned Tony Robbins. Dan Rose had attended a seminar of his in Secaucus, NJ during 2010 in which he had first been informed of it. In 2013, Dan attended the same seminar with both Nick and Ryan. They had agreed amongst themselves to try and replicate the same act of generosity in their own community.
Their very own “Basket Brigade” is organized by funding through popular online platforms such as GoFundMe and Venmo. With the money they raised this year, the responsibility was shared amongst Dan and his two friends to go out and buy 25 of everything that they deem necessary for a true Thanksgiving Dinner (photos included). Once the baskets are full, local churches are contacted so that arrangements can be made to try and deliver these meals to any families that are struggling this year and don’t have the opportunity of affording a traditional “Thanksgiving Dinner” to eat.
“We call different churches in the area and ask for any families that are struggling. They’ve even said ‘if you didn’t come, we wouldn’t have a Thanksgiving ‘ ” – Dan Rose
What do they do with any excess money that was raised? Dan explained that this year all of the extra money will be spend on “Toys for Tots”, the charity campaign run by the Marine Corps which distributes toys to children in local communities.
Dan admitted “This is absolutely a surreal and humbling experience.” He gives much credit not only to himself, but also towards Nick and Ryan as well as their friends who help organize the event every year.