What Are You Thankful For Charleston?

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By Mark A. Leon

We have hit that magical time of year where we begin to reflect on the things that are truly important in life.? A time for thanks, giving, sharing, family and friends.? It is a time when smiles overshadow frowns, goodness conquers bad and we count our blessings for the little things that make it all worthwhile.

With Thanksgiving less than two weeks away, we wanted to look at some of the things we are thankful for in the Lowcountry.? We would love to hear your comments about the things, people and places that you are thankful for.

Why Am I Thankful for Charleston?

  • A cold pint of beer on Shem Creek
  • Surfing at the Washout
  • The open arms and faith of the Charleston churches
  • The majestic sunrises of the Lowcountry
  • The Rooftop at Vendue just as the sun sets over the St. Philips Church
  • A glass of French red wine and a baguette sandwich at Fast and French
  • Remarkable live theatre from Threshold, Midtown and Woolfe Street
  • The Charleston Performing Arts Center’s commitment to theatre and education with the James Island Youth Theatre Program
  • Our food trucks and the commitment and hard work to making us smile on so many street corners and festivals
  • The unconditional love for our dogs and cats
  • The warm sand and ocean water of our beaches in the Spring and Summer
  • Commitment to providing food and shelter to those less fortunate
  • The preservation of history
  • The Cooper River Bridge Run and the Turkey Day Gobble Wobble
  • The dedicated medical professionals at MUSC, Roper St. Francis and Trident Medical Centers
  • Sailing in the Harbor
  • The peaceful escape of the South Carolina Aquarium
  • College of Charleston, The Citadel and Charleston Southern for training some of the finest young minds here in the Lowcountry
  • The Charleston County Park system for bringing nature to us
  • The Festival of Lights – Keeping tradition alive
  • The Charleston RiverDogs for continuing to harness great baseball talent and giving us a reason to go to the park
  • Patriots Point for reminding us of the importance and horrors of the Vietnam War
  • Deep Water Vineyards and Firefly – Where else can you get wine, spirits, a goat, a pig, a swinging tire and great Southern live music?
  • Yoga!! – Yoga and beach; yoga and beer; yoga and sunsets; yoga and baseball; Bikram yoga
  • Movies on the beach on Folly and Movies at Waterfront Park
  • Shagging at the pier
  • Boba Tea at Tapio
  • Late night chicken and waffles at Early Bird Diner
  • Seared Scallops and a Washington State Pinot Noir while watching the sunset at Morgan Creek Grill
  • Happy Hour seven days a week at Barsa and still free parking at a restaurant downtown
  • Sandwiches done right and with love at Persimmon Café
  • Falafel at Charlie’s Grocery
  • MUSC Urban Farm where rosemary, lemons, sunflowers and horticultural education come together
  • Sun-dried tomato and goat cheese turnover at Wild Flour on Spring Street
  • Feeding the ducks and birds at Hampton Park
  • Charleston Food and Wine Festival – That needs no explaining
  • Charleston Music Hall, Charleston Music Farm, Charleston Pour House and all the other great venues that continue to raise the bar of great music in the Lowcountry
  • Cup Coffee – Some of the best coffee I have ever had and they are local
  • Palmetto Brewery for staying downtown
  • Arthur J. Ravenel Bridge for continuing to be a sight for sore eyes
  • Farmer’s Markets for homemade pasta and soap
  • Marina view and breakfast burrito at the Marina Variety Shop Restaurant
  • Wine and sunset at Dock Street Park
  • Laying out at White Point Garden and people watching
  • Rainbow of acceptance and community in Park Circle, North Charleston
  • Oak Trees of Charleston and Angel Oak
  • Concerts at Riverfront Park and the new High Water Festival Tradition
  • Patriotism
  • Sea Turtles
  • Sunset at Bowen’s Island Restaurant over steamed oysters
  • Oyster Roasts with chili and S’mores
  • Bert’s Market open 24 hours 365 days a year
  • Gamecock and Tiger Football

What are you thankful and grateful for in Charleston? Comment below

What Charleston is Thankful for in 2016

Charleston, we asked and here is what you are thankful for at the start of this holiday season…

-“Family.”

-“Thankful I’m a teacher and can still make a difference in the world of a child.”

-“Family and beauty of Charleston and its people.”

-“Fish fingers and custard.”

-“My work ethic.”

-“My friends and family, opportunity, and beauty.”

-“Generosity of friends and family, and that this baby seems to be developing well.”

-“Time off with family.”

-“Sanity.”Thanksgiving People Table

-“Life. Family. Friendship. Health.”

-“Nap time!”

-“Thankful when nothing is left unsaid.”

-“Family.”

-“Home, health, family, experience.”

-“That I wake up each morning to a new day.”

-“Wine and ice cream.”

-“To have friends and family that I can count on.”

-“Healthy kids, affectionate pets, loyal and loving friends, and the respect of my parents.”

-“Wonderfully, amazing friends who love me for me.”

-“2016 is almost over.”

-“God, my family and friends.”

-“Three children, Alyssa, Kyle, and Blake and for their strength and perseverance. Beyond blessed.”

-“A new start at a new life.”

-“Indoor plumbing…and soft toilet paper.”

-“Family.”

-“Still breathing.”

-“To be able to watch the sunrise.”

-“The relationship with my family.”

-“Family.”

-“Coffee, so I am able to wake up early to catch my flight to visit friends and family for Thanksgiving.”

-“To be alive for the holidays.” #CancerStrong

-“Family, good health and America.”

-“The time that we did have together.”

-“Supportive family and friends, a new career that I love, and health.”

-“The immense amount of love I’m surrounded by with my Charleston family…especially when so far from my actual family.”

-“Selfless friends who spend their time helping me fix my truck.”

-“Family, friends, good health, salt water, diet green tea and that I can smile every day.”

-“Family.”

Princess Diana is given credit for the saying “Family is the most important thing in the world,” however we have known this for centuries. Given how our hearts’ shine, it is no surprise that family appears as a reoccurring value amongst Charlestonians.


Happy Thanksgiving,
from our family to yours

Charleston Basket Brigade is committed to feeding the hungry this Thanksgiving

Michelle Scarafile and Pam Hartley began The Charleston Basket Brigade in 2008 with a commitment to bring the community together to provide Thanksgiving meals for families in need in Charleston, SC. ?“When we found out that there were children going to bed hungry right here in Charleston, we knew we had to do something about it,” said Pam.

In 2011, The CBB raised $75,000 which fed 2,500 families – over 15,000 people. The following year they fed over 3,000 families and in 2013 they topped that number by reaching out and raising enough money to feed 3,306 families – almost 20,000 people!?? 2014 was another success feeding 3323 families – and all delivered in the rain, no less… Michelle?adds, “I’m sure our 2015 goal will be no different… ?We plan on ordering enough food to feed?3,500 families (an estimated 21,000 people) for Thanksgiving. ?To do that, we need to raise $105,000”

It only takes $30 to feed a family of 6 at Thanksgiving and we get donations from people in the community, as well as friends and family members that live out of state.? $30 goes a long way.

Every single penny that is raised goes towards purchasing food. ? $30 feeds a family of six which includes a 12-13 lb. turkey, stuffing, potatoes, gravy, corn, green beans, sweet potatoes with marshmallows, cranberry sauce, a pumpkin or apple pie, fresh rolls and butter.? Each meal is assembled and anonymously hand delivered by CBB volunteers on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. ?Inside each basket is an anonymous letter that reads, “This comes to you from someone who cares about you. ? All we ask is that you take care of yourself well enough to be able to do this for someone else one day.”


Communities In Schools; a non-profit organization that served over 13,290 students in 28 Charleston Tri-County schools in the 2014-15 school year, is an integral part of our effort. ?They help The Charleston Basket Brigade to locate the families that will receive meal donations based on need and they are also invaluable when it comes to?mapping directions for delivery.

Hundreds of local volunteers in the community, along with Carolina One staffers, raise money, assemble the meals at our staging area at the North Charleston Convention & Performing Arts Center and and then deliver meals to the families..? Momentum Marketing provides public relations and event coordination assistance.

The heart of the Charleston Basket Brigade also lies within creating a family experience for the recipients of these meals. When the families receive their Thanksgiving basket, they get to cook it together and then eat the warm meal they made as a family at the dinner table. ?The responses from families that receive a basket from the group are overwhelmingly appreciative and often times tear-filled. ?One parent said emphatically, “Oh thank you, thank you so much, prayers really do get answered.”