It’s a holiday tradition that helps about 250 Minneapolis families each year. On Friday, Dec. 15, 2023, Roosevelt High School’s 53rd annual “Operation Holiday Basket” kicked into high gear.
Students and alumni rolled up their sleeves and took over Roosevelt’s gymnasium, at 4029 28th Ave. S., Minneapolis, turning the space into an assembly line from 9 - 11 a.m. They filled each basket with a 12-15 pound frozen turkey plus all the trimmings, then delivered them to neighborhood families, many of whom have students enrolled at Roosevelt.
“This is a wonderful Teddy tradition that not only helps neighbors in need, it reinforces the meaning of the season for our students,” said Roosevelt Principal Christian Ledesma. “Many of our students who develop a taste for volunteering throughout their lives started right here taking part in Operation Holiday Basket.”
The event started in 1970 when a group of teachers decided to provide meals for about 50 families. Gary Lewis, 85, is one of the people who started “Operation Holiday Basket,'' and he is planning to be at Roosevelt packing boxes again this year. This year, Lewis has raised more than $5,000 to help pay for the turkeys.